BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

March 09, 2012 12:51 ET

Canada's Productivity Performance May Be Finally Turning the Corner: BMO Economics

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 9, 2012) - Canada's recovery may be getting another boost with improvement in productivity performance, according to a BMO Economics report on the latest productivity data from Statistics Canada. Labour productivity in the business sector rose a better-than-expected 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, hard on the heels of an upwardly revised 0.6% rise in the prior quarter. The annual rate saw an increase of 2.8 per cent.

"Canadian productivity looks to be gaining some momentum even as previously red-hot U.S. productivity is cooling," said Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "While companies have been taking steps to upgrade equipment, it's also critical how efficiently business owners use the equipment and labour supply."

Gail Cocker, Senior Vice President, Commercial and Treasury Management, BMO Bank of Montreal, noted that it's important for companies to continue innovating to remain competitive. "We strongly support those customers who want to take this opportunity to make investments in their operations that will boost productivity. BMO recently announced that it is making $10 billion available to businesses across Canada over the next three years so that they can invest in productivity. We firmly believe this money will provide small and medium-sized businesses with more certainty of available credit. It's a clear example of our ongoing confidence in them, and in the Canadian economy."

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 $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

The full report from BMO Economics can be downloaded at http://www.bmonesbittburns.com/economics/econofacts/20120309c/econofacts.pdf.

The most recent edition of the BMO Blue Book, which combines the expertise of BMO's economists with anecdotal information on current business conditions from BMO's commercial bankers, can be downloaded at http://bmonesbittburns.com/economics/reports/20120216/bb201202.pdf.

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