BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

October 06, 2016 06:00 ET

BMO Blue Book: Manitoba Economy Most Stable of All Provinces; Continues to Grow

- Province's GDP expected to rise 2.4%, up slightly from 2015 levels

- Steady growth boosted by diverse economy, including strong manufacturing and service sectors

WINNEPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Oct. 6, 2016) - Manitoba's growth is maintaining momentum yet again, as the region seems poised to mark seven consecutive years of increases of at least 2.3 per cent, should forecasts from the new BMO Blue Book, released today, hold true. No other area in the country can claim the same consistency.

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 national and provincial business conditions provided to BMO's commercial bankers by local businesspeople.

A very low GDP stake in oil production, coupled with a strong manufacturing and transportation sector, has contributed to the province's high economic standing.

"Manufacturing output has had a solid run since 2010 despite dipping last year, and should continue to benefit from the combination of a weaker Canadian dollar and still-solid U.S. demand," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Additionally, the transportation sector has been strong in recent years, with orders rolling in from various municipalities for public transit and U.S. cities with improved fiscal backdrops and higher state spending."

Notable job gains in construction and professional services are helping to keep unemployment comfortably below the national average even in a soft labour market. This is reflected in the province's business climate, with construction, in particular, set for a good year based on stable housing demand and the development of new residential buildings and offices.

"Confidence among Manitoba businesses is on the rise and a number of sectors are looking forward to a successful year. In particular, we're hearing positive feedback from our manufacturing, service and agricultural customers," said John MacAulay, Senior Vice President for Prairies and Central Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Mr. MacAulay adds that for agricultural businesses, land acquisitions seem to be continuing and a successful harvest could generate more equipment purchasing where a slight pullback has been noted. There is a small increase in requests for pre-approvals from producers, which could be a sign of another productive end to the year.

BMO is here to help with a highly-skilled team of experts who can make lending decisions at the local level to help the bank's 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, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $692 billion as of July 31, 2016, and over 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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