Ottawa-Gatineau’s economy is expected to start to pick up in 2016 after years of “tepid growth,” the Conference Board of Canada said Thursday.
The board projects the region’s real gross domestic product will climb 1.7 per cent this year following one per cent growth in 2015.
The associate director of the board’s Centre for Municipal Studies, Alan Arcand, said it will be the strongest gain in years, “thanks in part to a more positive outlook for public sector activity in 2016.”
Due in large part to federal government cuts, Ottawa-Gatineau’s GDP rose a meagre 0.7 per cent between 2012 and 2015. The board says the new Liberal government brings a “slightly more positive” outlook for the public service.
It says the region will also benefit from “robust, non-residential construction activity,” adding that local high-tech success stories such as Shopify and Kinaxis will drive growth in that sector.
The rise in GDP will do little, however, to create more jobs. The board says employment will grow at a rate of 0.6 per cent this year, down from 0.7 per cent in 2015.