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How Does Your Province’s Economic Momentum Compare?

An interesting independent report just came out from Forex Pros Financial Markets Worldwide, and it compares Canadian provinces on their own in-house Provincial Economic Momentum Indexes. These indexes monitor and track growth for the provinces according to six different monthly seasonally adjusted economic indicators. So, take a look at Forex Pros’ chart below, and see just how well your province stacks up against the others.

It’s a lot of information to take in, but the chart can be broken down into the following information:

Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan

  • The provinces with the strongest momentum during the third quarter were Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan. Job reports were positive during this quarter for all three provinces, particularly Saskatchewan, which also had momentum supported by sales in manufacturing.
  • In addition to job growth, construction boosted Ontario’s economy, mostly in building permits in non-residential sectors, which were up. That’s not surprising considering that many regions of Ontario have been reporting an increase in the rise in commercial mortgages and commercial construction.
  • Construction played a large part in Nova Scotia’s economy as well, and here, it was largely in residential housing starts.
  • Retail sales also come through very well for Nova Scotia, and were a large part in reversing the negative momentum the province had seen during the first and second quarters.

Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta

  • Quebec and Manitoba also saw positive economic momentum during the third quarter; although neither as much so as the three above provinces.
  • While Alberta actually continued to see negative momentum, as it has in the past two previous quarters; but this province still sees some of the most momentum over the past year.
  • Quebec saw an increase in employment, retail sales, and nonresidential building permits.
  • Employment was also up in Manitoba, boosting its momentum, along with retail sales. However, this province failed to show the momentum as the above three provinces, as it also saw declines in wholesale trade, building permits, and sales in manufacturing.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • There’s no bad news coming out of Newfoundland and Labrador, but there’s also not a lot of good news. While retail sales and building permits all saw increases, the province also saw declines in many other areas. While momentum hasn’t shifted into negative territory yet, it also hasn’t risen, resulting in a plateau in the current economy. The fact that the province was also strong in the three prior quarters also helps keep its bottom line from sinking any lower.

Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and British Columbia

  • These three provinces have shown to be the worst in economic performance, with all showing negative momentum during the third quarter. While it’s the second time Canada’s smallest province, PEI, has seen a negative number during the past four quarters, it’s New Brunswick’s third negative mark in four tries. For British Columbia however, this is the first time they’ve dipped into the negative zone over the past five quarters.

Overall

Given that the entire Canadian economy as a whole is experiencing a downturn in the housing market, none of these numbers are surprising. What is somewhat shocking is that when you compare each province’s economy with the nation’s as a whole, which grew by less than 2 per cent in the third quarter, it’s not the province’s you’d think that came out on top. While Alberta and Saskatchewan have been getting all the glory lately when it comes to their booming economies, Ontario’s is the one that actually comes out above the national average.

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