Ontario’s economy is going to grow slowly over the next few years with wide regional variations tied to local investments, says a new forecast by Central 1 Credit Union. “The Northwest, London and Hamilton-Niagara regions will be the fastest growing areas of the province,” said Helmut Pastrick, chief economist for Central 1, the trade association and financial facility for credit unions in Ontario and British Columbia.
Economic activity in the Northwest will be driven by mining and power projects, while London and Hamilton-Niagara will be helped by expansion in health care, tourism and exports.
“While these regions will lead the province, their growth rates will be moderate,” Pastrick warns.
“For the entire province, since my last forecast in February 2012, I have downgraded 2012 real GDP growth to 2.1 per cent from 2.3 per cent and for 2013 to 1.9 per cent from 2.8 per cent.”
The slowest growing regions will be the Northeast, Kingston-Pembroke, Stratford-Bruce and Muskoka-Kawarthas, the forecast says.
The regions in the middle are Windsor-Sarnia, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie and Ottawa. The forecast takes a detailed look at growth, employment and housing in each area.
The full report Ontario Regional Economic Outlooks is available at http://www.central1.com/publications/economics/pdf/ea/ea%202012_ont06.pdf.
Central 1 is the central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems. Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that serves three million members and holds $83 billion in assets and is owned primarily by its member credit unions, 44 in B.C. and 108 in Ontario.