Ontario’s economy continues to post strong growth despite a challenging global landscape, according to the province’s Economic Accounts for the first quarter of 2016.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced on Monday, July 18, that Ontario posted higher real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2016 than Canada, the U.S. and all other G7 countries. The province’s real GDP grew by 0.8 per cent in the quarter, or a 3.0 per cent annualized rate. This followed similar growth of 0.8 per cent — 3.3 per cent annualized — in the fourth quarter of 2015. Ontario’s economy is expected to remain one of the fastest-growing in Canada over the next two years.
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, said: “Ontario’s strength is our diverse economy. Ontario’s economy continues to grow and create good, well-paying jobs. Economic growth and job creation is supported by our plan to invest in modern infrastructure, in talent and skills to build the workforce of the future, and an innovative and dynamic business environment. With Ontario having stronger real GDP growth than any other G7 country in the first quarter — we can see that our plan is working.”
Ontario’s first-quarter gain was driven by higher exports and household spending. Exports rose by 1.7 per cent, rising for the fourth consecutive quarter, on the strength of automotive exports and consumer goods. Manufacturing real GDP grew by 1.2 per cent on the strength of increased production in the auto industry.
Since the end of the recession, Ontario’s real GDP has increased by 17.3 per cent, and it is now 11.8 per cent above its pre-recession level.
- The Premier announced the first-quarter results today during a visit to Infusion, a Toronto technology solutions development company that employs 200 people in Ontario’s growing technology sector.
- Since the recessionary low in June 2009, employment has increased by 625,100 net new jobs. Ontario now has 352,600 more jobs than at the pre-recessionary peak — a 5.3 per cent gain.
- Ontario’s unemployment rate declined to 6.4 per cent in June, which is below the national average and the lowest rate since September 2008.
- Private-sector forecasters project on average that Ontario’s real GDP will grow by 2.6 per cent in 2016, up from 2.3 per cent at the time of February’s 2016 Budget.
- The government is projected to meet its deficit target for the seventh year in a row, and it remains on track to eliminate the deficit next year in 2017–18 and maintain a balanced budget in 2018–19. – CINEWS