BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

May 08, 2013 08:00 ET

BMO Blue Book: New Brunswick Growth to Pick Up in 2014

- GDP growth of 0.9 per cent expected in 2013, climbing to 1.6 per cent in 2014; Canada GDP growth expected to be 1.6 per cent in 2013, 2.3 per cent in 2014

- Stronger U.S. growth in the housing and forestry sectors should drive firmer exports into 2014

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Economic growth in New Brunswick has cooled amid a period of fiscal restraint, but should pick up again in 2014, 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.

"Real GDP is expected to grow just 0.9 per cent this year, underperforming the national average after declining in 2012, but should pick up to 1.6 per cent in 2014," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

Mr. Kavcic noted that growth will be tempered by a downturn in capital spending in both the public and private sectors and the completion of major projects like the Point Lepreau nuclear plant refurbishment and Potash Corp's Sussex mine. "That said, stronger U.S. growth, particularly in the housing sector, should help drive firmer exports into 2014 - the forestry sector should benefit from the turnaround in the U.S. market."

In this environment, New Brunswick firms have been focusing on their bottom lines and finding efficiencies to drive cost out of their businesses, according to Allison Hakomaki, District Vice President, New Brunswick & PEI, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Those who are investing in technology are seeking cost savings, further production efficiencies and more capacity. Good examples would be trucking companies that are equipping their trucks with satellite tracking, speed regulators and wind skirts, along with dairy farmers who use technology to reduce input costs."

Ms. Hakomaki also noted that In Saint John, talk is turning to the ever-important energy sector. "The idea of a west-east pipeline is certainly something that could excite everyone in the province; however, some companies aren't waiting for that. Our customers are capitalizing on the mining and energy activity in Newfoundland and Labrador to find new business, and they are also exploring the possibilities of exporting manufactured product to Alberta's energy sector."

Ms. Hakomaki 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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