The Conference Board of Canada says the St. John’s economy is forecast to rebound this year, posing a 2.5 per cent real GDP growth.
Associate Director of the Centre for Municipal Studies with the Conference Board of Canada, Alan Arcand says the St. John’s economy has struggled in recent years, but is poised to be a growth leader thanks to increased offshore oil production.
In comparison, economic growth in Halifax and Moncton will remain steady but modest.
Nationally, the capital city will be an economic growth leader along with Vancouver and Abbotsford-Mission BC.
The start of production at the new Hebron offshore oil field late last year will provide a boost to the St. John’s economy, lifting real GDP growth to 2.5 per cent in 2018 following contractions in two of the last three years.
The city’s primary, resources and utilities sector is set to grow by an annual average of 11 per cent over the next two years, but weakness will persist in other areas of the economy including construction and many of the service sectors.
Employment in 2018 is expected to drop for the third time in four years.
Meanwhile, the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook survey shows employers in the St. John’s area expect a steady hiring climate in the second quarter of 2018.
Spokesperson Mindy Stoltz of Manpower’s St. John’s office says survey data reveals that 23 per cent of employers asked plan to hire in the next quarter from April to June, while just three per cent anticipate cutbacks.
The Net Employment Outlook for St. John’s is 13 per cent, a 19 percentage point increase when compared to the previous quarterly Outlook.