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RBC adds to rosy predictions for Manitoba economy

For the second time in a week, a major economic forecaster is predicting more good times ahead for the Manitoba economy.

In its latest provincial Economics Outlook report released today, the Royal Bank of Canada predicts the Manitoba economy will follow this year’s projected 2.5 per cent growth with growth of 2.3 per cent in 2014 and 2.6 per cent in 2015.

The bank predicts Manitoba won’t see a repeat of this year’s bumper grain crop, so that will less agricultural production in 2014. And that decline will offset the positive impact from an anticipated increase in manufacturing output and a continued high level of residential and non-residential construction activity, it adds.

However, "a return to positive growth in agriculture in 2015, along with continued growth in manufacturing, is expect to offset some slowing in residential construction," it says, "thereby allowing overall GDP growth to be maintained at a solid 2.6 per cent in 2015."

Earlier this week, the Conference Board of Canada predicted the Manitoba economy will grow by 2.2 per cent this year and by a robust 3.4 per cent in 2015.

However, it’s not as optimistic as RBC about how well Manitoba has done this year. It thinks it will finish the year with real gross domestic product growth of only 1.5 per cent — a full percentage point less than RBC’s estimate.

It blamed this year’s lacklustre performance on weakness in the metals-mining sector, which weighed down overall GDP growth.

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