BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

May 08, 2013 08:00 ET

BMO Blue Book: Nova Scotia Growth Prospects to Improve as Shipbuilding Contract Gets Underway

- GDP growth of 1.4 per cent expected in 2013, climbing to 1.9 per cent in 2014; Canada GDP growth expected to be 1.6 per cent in 2013, 2.3 per cent in 2014

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Although economic growth in Nova Scotia is currently subdued, a pickup is expected over the medium term, 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 will likely grow 1.4 per cent in 2013, up from just 0.2 per cent in 2012, with growth prospects firming up over the coming years as shipbuilding activity related to the Irving Shipbuilding contract to build combat ships for the Royal Canadian Navy gets underway," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Capital spending intentions in the manufacturing sector are pointing to a near-20 per cent increase in 2013."

Mr. Kavcic noted that while the project is clearly positive for the Nova Scotia economy over the medium term, there are still associated challenges. "The availability of skilled labour represents a particular challenge, as some Nova Scotians continue to migrate to labour markets in Western Canada. The net outflow of 4,300 people in 2012 was the largest in more than 50 years."

Carolyn Booth, Senior Vice President, Atlantic Provinces Division, BMO Bank of Montreal noted that the province must meet the challenge of attracting new, permanent employers. "We need companies that can give Nova Scotians the opportunity to stay home and develop their skills. People who work at these firms also have the opportunity to learn skills that they can spin off into new entrepreneurial ventures."

Ms. Booth noted that several such firms, such as RIM and IBM, have already arrived. "Such companies should give Nova Scotians long-term, sustainable employment opportunities."

Ms. Booth 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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