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BMO Financial Group

February 16, 2012 06:00 ET

BMO Blue Book: Capital Spending, Solid Business Foundation Contributing to Quebec Economy

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2012) - Quebec's economy is set to grow 1.6 per cent in 2012, according to the BMO Blue Book released today by BMO Capital Markets Economics and BMO Commercial Banking. Much like the U.S. Federal Reserve's Beige Book, the BMO Blue Book combines the expertise of BMO's economists with information on current business conditions provided to BMO's commercial bankers by local businesspeople.

"Fiscal restraint has taken root in Quebec, as the Province remains fully in budget-balancing mode," said Robert Kavcic, Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Offsetting this somewhat will be a still-solid level of capital spending. Ongoing Hydro Quebec investments continue to support growth, while the Plan Nord will see the Province inject $2.1 billion into infrastructure."

Despite Quebec companies entering 2012 with a sense of caution, there remains a solid foundation and the positives are clear, according to Victor Pellegrino, Vice-President, Commercial, Montreal District, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Montreal still has everything a company needs to succeed - a large, well-educated workforce, excellent real estate, plus strong domestic and international markets. Indeed, certain companies stand out with their successes."

Mr. Pellegrino took particular note of Montreal-based Speedware - an information technology modernization company - which has continued to perform well. "Speedware is one example of a firm that is taking the opportunity to invest in its business. They have told us they want to support the expansion that they see and believe in."

The full BMO Blue Book can be downloaded at http://bmonesbittburns.com/economics/reports/20120216/bb201202.pdf.

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