The economics unit at BMO Bank of Montreal kicked off the new year with an update on its provincial forecasts. It is one of the less bullish outlooks for this province.
The bank is projecting our economy will expand by 1.4 per cent this year and a further 1.5 per cent in 2020. That’s on the lower end among the provinces for this year and about middle of the pack next year.
These figures come on the heels of what BMO is expecting to be a one-per-cent growth track in the year that just ended. If that holds when the official reports come out later in the year, it would put us second from the bottom. Only Newfoundland had a poorer year – they actually say contraction.
And while BMO has always been a bit on the bearish side in their forecasts, we can point to one metric that was underestimated. They were projecting job growth of less than half a point last year. Yet, when StatsCan came out with its numbers last week, Saskatchewan job creation rose by almost two percentage points, significantly outpacing the BMO projection.