The next two years are looking good for Brandon, economically speaking.
According to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada, the economy in Brandon is forecast to grow 2.5 per cent in 2013, followed by 2.7 per cent growth in 2014.
However, it wasn't all rosy news.
The report also reveals that Brandon’s economy hasn’t fully escaped the economic doldrums of the past few years. In the four years since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008, Brandon’s economy shrank a total of 1.6 per cent.
The report, the Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2013, is the first in what will be an annual look at smaller urban centres across Canada.
The CBA looked at 46 mid-sized centres across the country with a particular focus on eight — including Brandon.
Overall, the economic picture is mixed. Nearly half of the 46 communities still haven't recovered from the recession.
“The employment picture has been uneven among Canada’s mid-sized cities over the past decade or so. A total of 21 cities have yet to see their employment levels return to pre-recession levels,” said Mario Lefebvre, director of the CBA’s Centre for Municipal Studies. “This is a troubling turn of events, given that these mid-sized cities play an important role as economic engines in their respective regions.”
Most mid-sized cities were enjoying great economic success before the 2008-09 global recession. However, 29 of the 46 mid-sized cities posted negative economic growth on an average annual basis in 2008 and 2009. The recession was particularly painful for mid-sized cities in Ontario, where the economies contracted in all 11 mid-sized cities. In contrast seven of the 10 mid-sized cities in Atlantic Canada bucked this trend during the recession.
Fortunately for most mid-sized cities, economic growth resumed in 40 of 46 cities in 2010. But the recovery was short-lived for many; 13 posted average annual negative economic growth between 2011 and 2012.
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