FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - Oct. 6, 2016) - Economic growth is expected to continue this year in New Brunswick, 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 national and provincial business conditions provided to BMO's commercial bankers by local businesspeople.
"Real GDP is expected to expand 0.5 per cent in 2016, after a strong 1.9 per cent growth print last year on the back of manufacturing and some primary industries," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "While exports should remain supported by the lagged impact of a weaker loonie, the fiscal environment remains challenging and some private-sector capital spending programs are winding down."
Capital spending has declined recently, even though it returned to growth in 2015. "Public and private investment intentions points to a seven per cent decline this year, as projects are wound down in forestry and refining sectors," said Mr. Kavcic.
While the potash sector is facing challenges, the forestry industry shows promise. "Forestry exports are getting a boost from the U.S. housing recovery, and should remain well supported by a weak loonie-the forestry sector was one driver of the strong growth reading in 2015," said Mr. Kavcic.
"New Brunswick's forestry industry remains a staple of the economy," said Lynda Taylor, Senior Vice President, Atlantic Provinces Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "With the U.S. housing and construction sector rebounding, American demand for the province's wood products presents great prospects for businesses exporting."
Ms. Taylor added the Energy East project has the potential to open new opportunities for businesses to refine products for export. Also, new technological advancements in the agriculture sector will give New Brunswick an added competitive edge on a global scale.
Ms. Taylor noted that BMO is here to help 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, 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.