Manitoba will be one of the leading provincial economies in both 2015 and 2016, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook-Winter 2015.
Manitoba’s real gross domestic product is forecast to increase by 2.9 per cent in 2015. In 2016, the economy is expected to grow by a nation-leading 3 per cent.
“Manitoba’s near-term economic outlook is a good news story. The positive outlook is mainly due to a boom in the construction industry, and the manufacturing sector will also benefit from the strong U.S. economy and retreat in the Canadian dollar,” says Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director, Provincial Forecast.
- The construction industry is forecast to grow by almost 10 per cent annually over the next two years.The manufacturing sector will benefit from the strengthening U.S. economy and the lower Canadian dollar, which, in turn, will support growth in the transportation and warehousing industries.
- In 2016, the Manitoba economy is expected to grow by a nation-leading 3 per cent.
Thanks to fairly strong population growth, demand for housing is rising and employment in Manitoba is expected to grow by 2 per cent. Retail sales are expected to grow by 3.6 per cent.
The construction industry is forecast to gain 8.5 per cent in 2015 and 10.7 per cent in 2016, due to a host of public infrastructure construction projects, as well as new investment within the private sector. The Bipole III Transmission Reliability Project is expected to break ground in 2015.
Transportation and warehousing are expected to keep making strong gains of 3.4 per cent in 2015 and 3.9 per cent in 2015. The improving U.S. economy, the drop in the Canadian dollar and lower oil prices will contribute to boosting manufacturing-based exports. Following a difficult year in 2014, the agriculture sector is expected to rebound in 2015.
The stronger economic growth will enable the province to balance its books in 2016-17 if it can meet its spending targets presented in Budget 2014, according to a new Fiscal Snapshot for the province published by the Conference Board. Despite recording deficits since the 2008-09 recession, net debt on a per capita basis remains below the national average. Manitoba is expected to see solid revenue growth over the medium term, which will include less reliance on equalization payments from the federal government.