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February 24, 2015
For immediate release
Report ranks province among fastest-growing economies
Finance and Energy
Prince Edward Island will be among the nation’s economic growth leaders this year, positioning the province to set a new strategic path for continued growth, jobs and prosperity.
In its report Provincial Outlook: Winter 2015, the Conference Board of Canada ranked Prince Edward Island first in Atlantic Canada and No. 4 among provinces in projected GDP growth, behind only British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario. At 2.6 per cent in 2015 and 2.5 per cent in 2016, the province’s GDP is predicted to grow faster than the national average.
“The Conference Board of Canada report confirms that Prince Edward Island is on a positive economic path,” says Premier and Finance and Energy Minister Wade MacLauchlan. “By working with all sectors of the Island economy to build on our strengths, and especially to increase our export sales of goods and services, we may be able to surpass the Conference Board projections and rank above Ontario for GDP growth in 2015.”
The driving forces behind Prince Edward Island’s 2015 growth are lower gasoline prices and a drop in the Canadian dollar, which the report says will boost employment and household income. Statistics Canada recently reported that employment grew by 1,000 jobs in January. The lower dollar will promote tourism to the Island and bolster our exports sector, while a projected surge in housing starts should improve the construction industry, the report notes.
“The Prince Edward Island economy is poised to pick up strongly this year and next,” the report states. “These projections of solid growth are even more impressive given that they come at a time when the government continues to keep a tight rein on spending as it attempts to balance its books on schedule.”
“Our province has challenges but there are also many opportunities,” said the premier. “We will engage Islanders on how we can best grow the economy and change our population trend-lines for the betterment of our province and Islanders.”
To read the executive summary and news release and download the report (paid content), visit www.conferenceboard.ca.