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Modest Growth Expected for Barrie Census Area: Ontario Economic Update 2016

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The most wide-reaching provincial economic forecast of the year, the Ontario Economic Update 2016,was released today by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Credit Unions of Ontario, with support from The Barrie Chamber of Commerce. According to the data, economic growth in Barrie Statistics Canada census region so far in 2015 has been mixed and moderate overall, and the outlook for the next two years promises more of the same.

Employment in the region is expected to grow by 1.1 percent in 2015 and is forecast to grow by a further 1.1 percent in 2016 and 1.3 percent in 2017. Forecast job growth is led by the services sectors such as health, education, accommodation and food services. Over time, the region's manufacturing sector will experience improved profits and market share as a result of the lower Canadian dollar and faster U.S. economic growth.

The Update notes that many manufacturing companies in the area continue to invest in production capacity and add jobs, often with financial support from governments. Examples include Wolf Steel and Streit Manufacturing in Barrie and Howa Textile Industry in Alliston.

"Economic growth in the Barrie area continues to be driven by innovation and niche manufacturers and small business" Barrie Chamber of Commerce CEO Rod Jackson noted. "The backbone of our local economic growth is small and rapidly growing business and that requires  sustained investment in identified infrastructure priorities by all levels of government."Jackson added.

The region's economic outlook through 2017 is projected to experience trend growth in employment and a slightly lower unemployment rate. Housing market activity will continue to increase with ongoing growth in sales, prices, and construction. Non-residential building construction will remain near current levels in the near term and turn higher in 2017. Population growth will remain near one percent annually. Government fiscal policy will also be an important key driver, as federal and provincial infrastructure commitments will temporarily stimulate growth across a variety of sectors. Download the full economic outlook at: http://barriechamber.com/OCC-Economic-Outlook_Ontario-2016.pdf

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For more information, contact:

Rod Jackson
Chief Executive Officer
e.Rjackson@BarrieChamber.com
t. 705-721-5000 x22



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