Vancouver economy to see Canada’s strongest growth in 2015: Conference Board

A strong manufacturing sector is expected to push Vancouver into top spot when it comes to...

Vancouver is expected to have Canada's strongest economic growth in 2015 | Shutterstock

A strong manufacturing sector is expected to push Vancouver into top spot when it comes to economic growth among large cities in Canada through the remainder of 2015.

Vancouver is expected to see growth of 3.4% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2016, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook released September 23. Manufacturing is forecast to increase 8.6% this year after growing 2.6% last year.

“Vancouver's economy is on track to extend its streak of strong growth this year. In fact, 2015 will mark the fifth time in the past six years that growth in the region has topped 3%," said Alan Arcand, associate director, centre for municipal studies.

"The manufacturing sector will lead the way this year, but widespread gains are expected across all sectors of the city's economy."

Seaspan’s $8 billion contract for the production of non-combat ships for the federal government will drive some of the expected growth, as will from the United States, in part due to a weak Canadian dollar.

Manufacturing is not the only sector expecting growth. The services sector is expected to see strong increases, led by wholesale and retail trade, which is expected to grow by 5% due to strong employment. Finance, insurance, real estate and business services are all expected to see growth over 4%.

Housing starts are forecast to increase 8.1% to 20,800 units this year. This level is expected for the next two years as well. Non-residential construction is set to be strong with the Trump International Hotel and Tower, the Vancouver International Airport and the Port Mann water supply tunnel providing some momentum in this sector.

Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax and Montreal are all expected to experience growth above 2% in 2015. Edmonton and Calgary, on the other had, are facing a recession due to the drop in oil prices.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV