BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

May 31, 2013 08:37 ET

BMO Provincial Business Report: Saskatchewan Businesses Say Strong Economy and Low Taxes Give Them Advantage

- Province has fastest employment gains in Canada

- Resource sector, including oil and potash, is a key economic driver

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - May 31, 2013) - The majority of business owners in Saskatchewan are optimistic about their province's economic outlook, with 62 per cent expecting it to improve in 2013.

The findings are part of a BMO poll, conducted by Pollara, asking local entrepreneurs what they see as the major advantages to doing business in their province. It showed:

  • 12 per cent cited the strength of the local economy as the main advantage to doing business in Saskatchewan
  • Favourable tax rates and government policies (6 per cent each) rounded out the top three reasons, as low personal income tax rates and a stable majority government keep uncertainty over fiscal policy quite low

"Saskatchewan continues to be one of Canada's strongest economies. As a result of a rising population, business owners there are experiencing more opportunities for their businesses," said John MacAulay, Senior Vice President, Prairies and Central Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Our agriculture clients, for example, are expanding their farms and benefitting from higher land prices. We expect to continue to hear positive stories from our commercial clients."

Outlook for Growth in Saskatchewan

The poll found that 62 per cent of Saskatchewan business owners expect the provincial economy to improve.

"The resource sector is a key growth driver in the province, as oil production has ramped up in recent years and is expected to continue at a solid pace. The long term potential of potash mining will also help fuel growth," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

Construction activities in Saskatchewan continue to drive demand and growth, as homebuilders keep pace with a growing population.

Saskatchewan Companies Offering Mobile Work Arrangements

The poll also found Saskatchewan is also a leader in telecommuting - the ability to work remotely from outside the office. The province is tied with Ontario for the highest percentage (14 per cent) of employees who telecommute, compared to a national average of 7 per cent.

Of Canadian businesses who offering telecommuting, 65 per cent reported a positive impact on productivity and 58 per cent said it improved quality of work.

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 $555 billion as at April 30, 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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