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BMO Financial Group

June 01, 2011 10:35 ET

BMO Blue Book: Improving Manufacturing Sector in Manitoba to Offset Weaker Crop Production

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - June 1, 2011) - While Manitoba's economy is again threatened by Mother Nature, behind the volatility in crop production lies a diverse economy that is benefiting from high resource prices, a recovering manufacturing sector and strong population growth, according to the first edition of the BMO Blue Book, a joint publication of 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.

"We've currently penciled in 2.6 per cent real GDP growth for 2011, up from 2.0 per cent in 2010, but that forecast could be revised down over the next month as we get a more complete look at the spring planting season," said Robert Kavcic, Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

"Manitoba finds itself stable and optimistic, although a number of concerns could affect our outlook including the potential impact of spring flooding and the impact of the high dollar on manufacturing," said Rick Jaques, District Vice-President, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, BMO Bank of Montreal. "That said, many of our clients remain optimistic—they are telling us that they are ready for change. They are less concerned with the high dollar than the pace of change—and that pace has been slow enough of late for them to cope."

The full report can be found at www.bmocm.com/economics.

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