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Manitoba's economic growth forecast lowered, again

For the second time in two days, a leading forecaster has lowered its 2014 economic-growth projection for Manitoba.

In its latest quarterly Provincial Outlook report released today, the Conference Board of Canada predicts the Manitoba economy will grow by 1.8 per cent this year. That’s down from the two per cent growth it was forecasting back in December.

The Conference Board report comes just one day after RBC Economics also scaled back its growth forecast for this year, saying it now expects the Manitoba economy to expand by two per cent this year, not the 2.3 per cent it was forecasting in December.

RBC said it was lowering its growth forecast because of weaker-than-expected momentum in manufacturing in 2013, declining employment growth and cutbacks in capital spending this year.

While the Conference Board is now anticipating slightly weaker growth for the Manitoba economy this year, it said 1.8 per cent would be a slight improvement over 2013.

"This year’s growth will be supported by steady gains in the mining and manufacturing industries, which, in turn, will lift employment and household disposable income gains."

It said it won’t be until 2015 that the Manitoba economy really starts to roll. In fact, it predicts Manitoba will lead the country next year with real gross domestic product growth of three per cent.

"Next year, stellar growth in metal mining and mineral fuel output, as well as a pickup in construction activity, will provide the basis for the stronger growth in real GDP," it added.

Nationally, the board predicts the Canadian economy will expand by 2.3 per cent this year and by 2.4 per cent in 2015.


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