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BMO Financial Group

February 16, 2012 06:00 ET

BMO Blue Book: Manitoba to Outpace National Growth Average

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2012) - Manitoba's growth is expected to rebound to 2.3 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.

"Manufacturing continues to perform well with shipments up nearly 7 per cent year-over-year through November, led by firm growth in machinery and transportation equipment," said Robert Kavcic, Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Meantime, energy and mining activity should maintain their momentum given that commodity prices, especially oil, have held up relatively well. Private-sector job growth is still firm thanks to growth in services; the 5.4 per cent jobless rate was the third lowest in Canada in January."

"No matter what's in the news on the economic front, Manitoba typically shows a steady-as-she-goes outlook," said Lynda Taylor, Vice-President, Manitoba & Northwest Ontario, BMO Bank of Montreal. "But today, we see an impressive amount of optimism. From the return of the Winnipeg Jets to a solid economic forecast, Manitoba is looking forward."

Ms. Taylor noted that several of BMO's corporate customers are investing in their businesses. "BMO's recent announcement that it is making $10 billion in credit available to businesses across Canada over the next three years will help to support other Manitoba companies looking to invest."

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

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