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BMO Financial Group

June 01, 2011 10:35 ET

BMO Blue Book: Ontario to See Slower Growth, But Technology Sector is a Global Innovation Leader

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 1, 2011) - The Ontario economy has geared down after a strong post-recession rebound, and is poised to grow slightly below the national rate, according to the first edition of the BMO Blue Book, a joint publication of 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.

"We see the Ontario economy growing 2.7 per cent this year and 2.6 per cent in 2012," said Robert Kavcic, Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "A strong Canadian dollar will weigh on manufacturing and exports, while fiscal restraint will dampen growth in public-sector spending."

"Ontario's technology sector leads the way in innovation on a global scale, and is an engine of growth, particularly in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa regions," said Susan Brown, Senior Vice-President, Ontario Regional Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We expect to see slow, but steady growth continue in Ontario. It won't be the robust growth of a few years ago, because of the level of public debt, the end of infrastructure spending, the high Canadian dollar and continued U.S. weakness. However, Ontario businesses are resilient and hardworking, and we are confident that strength will return in due course."

"In the Greater Toronto Area, businesses are generally optimistic, but they also acknowledge that the business environment is tougher than it has been in the recent past," noted Mike Bonner, Vice-President, Commercial, Greater Toronto District, BMO Bank of Montreal. "The fundamental economic underpinnings for growth are present but still not back to pre-recession levels."

The full report can be found at www.bmocm.com/economics.

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