BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

May 08, 2013 08:00 ET

BMO Blue Book: U.S. Growth to Drive Momentum in Ontario

- Economic conditions drive manufacturing companies to cut costs and improve productivity

- GDP growth of 1.5 per cent expected in 2013, 2.3 per cent in 2014; Canada GDP growth expected to be 1.6 per cent in 2013, 2.3 per cent in 2014

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - The Ontario economy is expected to grow 1.5 per cent in 2013 but pick up later in the year once U.S. economic growth improves, 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.

"Once the U.S. economy begins to run at a 3 per cent-plus clip later this year Ontario will see momentum pick up," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "With such a direct benefit to the Ontario economy, we expect growth to reach 2.3 per cent in 2014."

Susan Brown, Senior Vice President, Ontario Division, BMO Bank of Montreal noted that manufacturing clients have seen success by cutting costs and focusing on productivity during the economic downturn. "Pressure from the relatively high Canadian dollar is a continuing concern, reinforcing the ongoing importance for firms to improve their productivity. We encourage manufacturers to take advantage of low interest rates to invest in their businesses, as we expect a positive environment to continue."

Mike Bonner, Vice President, Commercial Banking, GTA Division, BMO Bank of Montreal, said that his clients are optimistic, but wary of a fragile economic recovery going forward. "Businesses have chosen to invest in opportunities that diversify their market share, whether those are new business ventures or adding to their existing clientele. This expansion, both horizontally and vertically, has driven modest growth across the Greater Toronto Area."

Mr. Bonner 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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