MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - The next three years will bring some 90,000 new jobs to Montreal, according to a new report released today by BMO Economics.
The report notes that Montreal's employment rate is already near a record high, with the jobless rate at 8.2 per cent. "Over the medium term, we expect the city to add about 90,000 jobs by the end of 2016, pulling the unemployment rate down to close to pre-recession levels at just above 7 per cent," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.
The BMO special report notes that the value of non-residential building permits sat near a record high in the twelve months through March 2013, boosted by the industrial and government sectors. The Montreal housing market has softened along with most of Canada's major markets, with existing home sales 11 per cent below year-ago levels in April, slumping in the wake of stricter mortgage rules implemented by Ottawa last July. Average transactions prices also cooled, up 0.8 per cent year over year.
"The Montreal housing market remains relatively balanced by historical standards, with a sales-to-new listings ratio of 48.4 per cent in March 2013," added Mr. Kavcic.
The special report notes that a strong Canadian dollar, a higher tax burden for upper level incomes and a softening of the housing market are some of the headwinds that the city will face going forward. However, the strengthening U.S. expansion should offer much-needed support for exports later in the year, with the aerospace industry remaining sturdy on the back of aircraft orders.
"Our BMO commercial clients in the greater Montreal area are relatively optimistic, given the U.S. recovery and demand, in addition to strong domestic and international markets," said Mario Rigante, Vice President, Commercial Banking, Metropolitan Montreal, BMO Bank of Montreal.
BMO is open for business and has made $10 billion in additional credit available for businesses, giving them access to the capital they need to grow. "While most businesses understand the need to invest in their operations to improve productivity, they are very selective and cost-conscious with their projects, investments and equipment purchases," added Mr. Rigante.
The complete BMO report is available at www.bmocm.com/economics.
About BMO Financial Group in Quebec
BMO Bank of Montreal operates 143 branches in Quebec. BMO Financial Group also serves clients in the province through 15 BMO Nesbitt Burns branches and three BMO Harris Private Banking offices.