Paul Liberatore

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Vancouver is top economic performer in 2015

Vancouver is expected to have the fastest growing metropolitan economy in Canada this year, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2015.


"Vancouver's economy is on track to extend its streak of strong growth this year. In fact, 2015 will mark the fifth time in the past six years that growth in the region has topped 3 per cent," said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies. "The manufacturing sector will lead the way this year, but widespread gains are expected across all sectors of the city's economy."




  • Vancouver is on track to post the fastest economic growth among 13 major cities in CanadaToronto andWinnipeg round out the top three performers.
  • Vancouver's manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 8.6 per cent in 2015.
  • Hit hard by the slump in oil prices, long-standing economic leaders Calgary and Edmonton face recession in 2015.

Vancouver's economy is forecast to expand by 3.4 per cent in 2015 and rise by a further 3.5 per cent in 2016.


The outlook for the local manufacturing sector is very strong, thanks to the start of a multi-billion dollar contract to build non-combat ships for the federal government at Seaspan's North Vancouver site. The export-oriented sector will also benefit from the lower dollar and growing U.S. demand. In all, manufacturing output is expected to grow by an impressive 8.6 per cent in 2015.


Robust growth is also forecast for the region's services sector. Three sectors are expected to post output gains above 4 per cent this year: wholesale and retail trade, finance, insurance and real estate, and business services. Rising income and employment will encourage consumers to keep spending and support growth in wholesale and retail trade, while the finance, insurance, and real estate sector will benefit from an active housing market.


Although construction output is expected to dip in 2015, the downturn is expected to be short-lived. Housing starts are expected to rise by 8.1 per cent to 20,800 units this year and remain near this level over the next couple of years. Similarly, non-residential construction will remain healthy, with work starting on a number of new projects and continuing on several others, including the Trump International Hotel and Tower, theVancouver International Airport, and the Port Mann water supply tunnel.


TorontoWinnipegHalifax, and Montréal round out the top five spots of fastest growing metropolitan economies in 2015. These cities are all on track to post economic growth above 2 per cent. In contrast, long-standing economic leaders Calgary and Edmonton face recession.


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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada  


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