BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

June 12, 2015 08:00 ET

BMO Economics Report: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region Set to Expand in 2015

- Region would rank as the world's third largest economy if it were a country

- Quebec's ties to Great Lakes States significant; account for 20 per cent of exports and 6 per cent of imports

- U.S. economy expected to grow 2.2 per cent in 2015; Canadian growth at 1.5 per cent

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 12, 2015) - There is little question of the importance of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region to the global economy, according to a new report from BMO Economics. The report, North America's Economic Engine, was released today as state and provincial representatives gather in Quebec City for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers 2015 Leadership Summit.

"The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region - which would rank as the third largest economy in the world if it were a country - is a vital driver of North American economic output, employment and trade, accounting for nearly a third of combined Canadian and U.S. output, jobs and exports," said Doug Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Financial Group. "The region's expansion is expected to accelerate in 2015. Manufacturing and exports in Ontario and Quebec will get a boost from a weaker currency and firm U.S. demand; meanwhile U.S. states in the region will see an ongoing housing recovery offset somewhat by the strong U.S. dollar."

Mr. Porter also noted the importance of the region to the Quebec economy. "Quebec's trade ties to the Great Lakes states are significant, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of provincial exports and 6 per cent of total imports. On the export side, shipments to the Great Lakes states outnumber all non-U.S. countries by a wide margin. This reflects output across a wide range of industries, with aluminum and copper, paper, machinery & equipment, fuel and aerospace accounting for the bulk of activity."

Mr. Porter remarked that sturdy growth is expected for the region in 2015. "The U.S. economy is expected to continue its expansion in the year ahead, growing at a 2.2 per cent clip in 2015 - down slightly from a 2.4 per cent pace last year. While Canada is expected to lag with 1.5 per cent growth, that largely reflects the impact of lower oil prices in oil-producing provinces. In fact, Canada's regional growth landscape looks to see a dramatic shake-up, with Ontario and Quebec poised to benefit from the combination of a weaker Canadian dollar and firm U.S. demand. Against that backdrop, the outlook for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region remains positive."

The full report 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 approximately $633 billion as of April 30, 2015, and more than 47,000 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.

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