BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

May 08, 2013 08:00 ET

BMO Blue Book: Manitoba Benefits from Diverse Economy

- Real GDP projected to out-pace national average amidst a sturdy manufacturing industry

- GDP growth of 2.0 per cent expected in 2013, 2.3 per cent in 2014; Canada GDP growth expected to be 1.6 per cent in 2013, 2.3 per cent in 2014

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Stability remains a key strength of Manitoba's economy, 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.

"Manitoba's diverse economy continues to grow at a steady pace," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Real GDP is expected to grow at a 2.0 per cent pace this year - down from 2.7 per cent in 2012 but above the national average.

"Energy and mining activity continue to see solid momentum in the province, but manufacturing remains the key driver and activity is sturdy thanks in part to the aerospace sector," noted Mr. Kavcic.

"Manitoba is typically steady, however, we're seeing a very upbeat story in agriculture," said John MacAulay, Senior Vice President, Prairies and Central Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal. "For example, a number of our clients have taken the opportunity to invest in their equipment and processes with new technology. Productivity has improved following these investments, and our farms have the opportunity to compete globally as a result."

Mr. MacAulay added that Manitoba's economic diversity applies to its manufacturing sector as well, with a number of different manufacturers with wide-ranging activities in plastics, metals and original equipment. Most of these successful manufacturers have a specialization niche.

Mr. MacAulay remarked that the U.S. downturn led to some softness in the past several years, but there's been a solid increase in east-west trade with other provinces - particularly to support resource growth in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Mr. MacAulay added that BMO is armed with a highly-skilled team of experts that can make lending decisions at the local level to help its commercial clients boost productivity, expand into new markets and make strategic investment decisions that will help propel growth and drive success.

The full BMO Blue Book can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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