HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 6, 2016) - Nova Scotia's economic growth is at its strongest in six years and ahead of the other Atlantic provinces, according to the BMO Blue Book released today by BMO Capital Markets 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 grow 1.1 per cent, up from 0.8 per cent in 2015," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Sturdy U.S. demand and domestic construction activity will support growth in the near term, but some longer-term challenges still remain in the province."
"The Halifax Shipyard is now busy with the $25-billion contract to build combat ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, now well underway," said Mr. Kavcic. "Other projects such as the Nova Centre and Maritime Link are also supporting growth. Exports also continue to edge higher, up a solid 7 per cent in the 12 months through July."
While Nova Scotia has been experiencing healthy construction and export activity, demographic drain is posing challenges. Despite such concerns, Mr. Kavcic noted, "Indeed, the demographic drain is among the largest challenges in the province in the years ahead. In the meantime, Nova Scotia is seeing a spurt in population growth. This follows four years of outright declines."
"Nova Scotians are returning home from Western Canada, which is contributing to a great influx of skilled labour which is needed for the growing opportunities in the energy and construction sectors," said Lynda Taylor, Senior Vice President, Atlantic Provinces Division, BMO Bank of Montreal.
"Exports in the fishery industry are also experiencing a boom," Ms. Taylor added. "A favourable foreign exchange rate, lower fuel prices and rising global demand are creating opportunities for fishers and other business owners. Boat building businesses are also benefiting."
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.