by Errol Black
Buried at the bottom of the business section in today’s Winnipeg Free Press is an update on Canada’s economic prospects.
A more appropriate headline for the Winnipeg Free Press report might have been “Banks take gloomier outlook on jobs, economy, but prospects for Manitoba much improved in 2012.”
The story reports that RBC has reduced its estimates for real GDP growth for the Canadian economy in 2011 from 3.2 per cent to 2.4 per cent. The estimate for 2012 is 2.5 per cent.
RBC downgraded this year’s economic forecast for nine of the ten provinces—it pared back Manitoba’s forecast to 2.8 per cent in June anticipating bad weather to affect wheat and canola production by 20 per cent and weak U.S. economic growth to take a bite out of Manitoba exports to the United States.
This latest report has good news for our province. It shows that “Manitoba and Alberta were the only two provinces to receive an RBC upgrade in their 2012 economic forecast.”
The RBC places Manitoba among the top three performers for both 2011 and 2012 (following Alberta and Saskatchewan) and better than the national average. The forecast for Manitoba has been upgraded from 3.4 percent to 3.5 per cent.