Entries in Economic outlook (2)

Thursday
Dec172015

It's in the data - the story of rebuilding Ptbo

The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce along with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and Credit Unions of Ontario recently released Ontario Economic Update 2016.  The document tells us the story of Peterborough over the past year and provides a glimpse into what the future could hold.  

The report tells us that the housing market is driving growth.  There was a 16.4 percent increase in residential sales to October of this year, compared to last year.  This increase has pushed the average price of a home to $295,000.  Peterborough saw a surge in apartment building permits at the end of 2014 that has contributed to an increase in housing starts. Peterborough is ahead of 2014 in non-residential building construction investment spending.  

Employment is expected to grow about 1.8 percent in 2016 and then stabilize around 1.3 percent in 2017.  The authors of the report also predict we’ll see unemployment stabilize at just over 7.5 percent, which would make for the lowest average unemployment rate in a decade.  Population growth will also be on the positive side, increasing 0.8 percent in 2016.  

“We are pleased to see positive growth is expected for Peterborough in each of the next two years,” says Stuart Harrison, President  & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “This is reflective of what we are seeing with new businesses setting up shop in all sectors of our economy and areas of the city and county.”

So what does this all mean?  What is the big picture?  This is the story of a city that is in the final stretch of rebuilding.  It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve done it.  Peterborough is transforming from the traditional
manufacturing town of recent decades to a city with a diverse and vibrant economy.  Manufacturing, while still a key sector, is now defined as an advanced manufacturing sector with an emphasis on innovation; the Peterborough retail sector is chugging along with a good mix of unique stores and chain franchises; the public sector is strong between the university, college, hospital and municipal services; the agricultural sector is bringing new products to market; and the strategic emergence of an entrepreneurial hub caps off 2015 with a flourish.  

There are also a number of external factors that will have a positive impact on Peterborough.  The lower Canadian dollar will be good for tourism and our economic sectors who are exporting to the U.S. and beyond.  A stronger U.S. economy will also help drive growth in Ontario. The federal and provincial governments have promised a focus on infrastructure projects. These projects will stimulate growth across a variety of sectors.  

“Ontario businesses are helping Ontario emerge stronger from the downturn,” says Allan O’Dette, President & CEO, OCC. “In order to generate sustained economic growth, government must invest in infrastructure, close the skills gap, and ensure that input costs do not stifle investment or job creation.”  

To that end, there is a large role for chambers of commerce to play, “the Chamber will continue to lobby and develop recommendations to help mitigate the impact of the cumulative effect of significant provincial policy changes such as ORPP, WSIB rate framework reform, electricity prices, and Cap and Trade,” adds Harrison.

The takeaway from the Ontario Economic Update 2016: Peterborough CMA report is that the recent period of instability and uncertainty has afforded Peterborough an opportunity to explore the importance of
community, dialogue and a common goal.  Success calls for a willingness to be dynamic. It’s not always easy, but the results of this report prove that it’s necessary.

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn.

Wednesday
Jan282015

Economic Outlook 2015: Strong growth in 2014 means modest growth in 2015

After a strong 2014, economic growth in Peterborough is expected to slow over the next two years, according to a new economic outlook from the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and the Credit Unions of Ontario.  

Economic conditions in Peterborough exhibited surprising strength last year, as residential and non-residential investment surged and total employment grew by 9 percent. As a result, the unemployment rate dropped slightly in 2014 to 8.3 percent. 

On balance, employment growth is forecast to ease considerably following last year’s strong growth, with forecast gains of 1.0 percent in 2015 and 1.8 percent in 2016. Growth will be underpinned by a general improvement in economic conditions in the province and higher tourism levels. Unemployment is expected to decline slightly to 7.8 percent by 2016. 

According to the outlook, job creation in the area is forecast to record modest growth over the next two years as non-residential construction activity begins to taper off. While the investment flows of previous projects in the broader region should continue to benefit the economy, the value of non-residential building permits is expected to decline this year by about 30 percent before recovering in 2016.

Stronger U.S. demand and a weak Canadian dollar should buoy the region’s manufacturing sector, while tourism-related industries such as accommodations and food services, are expected to benefit from increased visits from outside the region.

“The challenges faced by Peterborough businesses in the past number of years have forced some companies to reach into other segments of the economy to fill in space left by traditional clients”, says Stuart Harrison, President and CEO, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. 

Some recent developments bode well for Peterborough’s future prospects. The new Nordia call centre opened in November 2014 and management plans to hire about 400 people in the first 12 to 18 months of the facility’s operation. Minacs, another call-centre operation in the city, will also be hiring another 60 people in the coming months. In addition, the GE Canada plant in Peterborough has won a tentative contract from TransCanada Corp. to build electric motors for the Calgary-based company’s Energy East pipeline project. The contract win for the plant follows the $65 million modernization of the facility over the past five years and is expected to create 250 jobs at its Peterborough facility and across its local supply chain over a two-year period. 

“It’s anticipated recent and long-term investments in transportation will have a positive economic impact on the Peterborough area”, adds Harrison. “The announcement of the construction of the 407 to the 35/115 expected to start in the fall and further growth at the Peterborough Airport will continue to open Peterborough to new markets and introduce new markets to Peterborough.”

Population growth, which is primarily attributed to net positive flows of people from other parts of the province, is forecast to rise to 0.7 percent in 2016. 

On the housing front, sales in Peterborough are forecast to increase to approximately 1.9 percent in 2016. Demographically driven demand and low interest rates have generated a stable environment for the regional housing market, which should help home prices rise moderately over the forecast horizon. 

Key Facts and Highlights:

 

  • Population growth, which is primarily attributed to net positive flows of people from other parts of the province, is forecast to rise to 0.7 percent in 2016. With more retired people moving into the area, less interprovincial outflow, and improving employment growth, total net migration is seen rising above 3,000 persons in 2016.
  • Housing sales in Peterborough are forecast to increase to approximately 1.9 percent in 2016. Demographically driven demand and low interest rates have generated a stable environment for the regional housing market, which should help home prices rise moderately over the forecast horizon.
  • Unemployment is expected to decline slightly to 7.8 percent by 2016 compared to 8.3 percent last year. 

 

 

 Download the full Economic Outlook  

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn.