Canadian Manufacturing

Cities across Canada positioned for economic recovery in 2022: The Conference Board of Canada report

Combined with an increase in travel and tourism, high vaccination rates across the country should help most cities’ economies and employment return to pre-pandemic levels.

April 19, 2022   by CM Staff

OTTAWA — As social distancing restrictions ease at varying rates across Canada, major cities across the country are poised for economic recovery according to new research from The Conference Board of Canada. Combined with an increase in travel and tourism, high vaccination rates across the country should help most cities’ economies and employment return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

“The Omicron variant’s rapid onset impacted Canada’s municipalities to varying degrees as local and provincial governments took steps to limit its impact,” said Ted Mallett, Director, Economic Forecasting, The Conference Board of Canada. “Although there is the potential for new variants and a resurgence of the virus, we’re optimistic about economic recovery and growth in Canada’s cities as we move towards the spring and summer months.”

Key findings of the research include:

  • Producer income effects from higher commodity prices will first be seen on the prairies and NL, but inflation effects downstream will be spread more evenly across the country
  • Calgary’s local real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rise 3.4 per cent, contributed to by high oil prices and a stronger energy sector
  • The oil and gas and potash industries are expected to bounce back in the Prairies, which will contribute to GDP growth in Regina
  • Ottawa-Gatineau’s concentration of public-sector employees, which accounts for one-third of the region’s GDP, is a main reason for its rapid recovery. The city has also been minimally impacted by supply chain disruptions to the manufacturing sector
  • Toronto’s financial sector will continue driving its economy, while its vibrant arts and entertainment sector is ready for takeoff after two challenging years
  • Technology companies ramped up purchases of office space throughout Vancouver, which bodes well for the restoration of pre-pandemic foot traffic over the next couple of years, and revitalize the retail and food services sector that support the city’s core
  • Despite the spread of Omicron, Victoria is expecting a record scheduled cruise ship season this year, whose passengers are a major source of revenue for the city. International flights have also resumed at Victoria’s airport. The return of more tourists to Victoria will drive output growth of 27.2 per cent in the accommodation and food services industry this year
  • Montreal regained all the jobs it lost during the pandemic’s 2020 surge, and will see additional employment growth in 2022 and 2023 while its GDP expected to rise 3.9 per cent in 2022
  • Winnipeg’s GDP grew by an estimated 4.6 per cent last year, lower than the 5.9 per cent forecast in our previous insight. The city’s diverse economy helped cushion the shock of a record drought that severely impacted the agriculture sector

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