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Conference Board predicts 2.7 per cent growth for Hamilton in 2015

Hamilton Spectator
By Meredith MacLeod

Hamilton’s economy will grow by 2.7 per cent this year, up from 1.7 per cent in 2014, according to numbers released by the Conference Board of Canada on Thursday.

That places the city at fourth in predictions for growth, behind Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax, which are all forecasted to grow by 3.1 per cent.

“Hamilton’s ongoing recovery is encouraging, especially in the city’s manufacturing sector where we are expecting activity to rise by 1.8 per cent this year and another 2.3 per cent in 2016,” said Alan Arcand, associate director, Centre for Municipal Studies.

The report cites positive effects from the weakening Canadian dollar and the strengthening U.S. economy.

“With Hamilton sharing the hosting duties for the upcoming Pan Am/Parapan Am Games with Toronto, growth in local economy’s tourism related industries is also expected to be healthy,” said Arcand.

The Conference Board predicts overall growth for Hamilton of 2.6 per cent in 2016.

The board predicts strong growth in transportation and warehousing and non-residential construction, including projects at McMaster University, the new James Street North GO Station and the Hamilton harbour cleanup.

Among 13 census metropolitan areas, the board forecasts negative growth for only Edmonton and Calgary.

Also Thursday, commercial real estate company Colliers International named Hamilton an “anchor city” for future corporate locations. Hamilton is a “city of opportunity” for corporations looking for locations, it says.

Colliers says Hamilton has five key attributes that will allow corporations relocating from the GTA to manage cuts and retain employees. Those attributes are: lower overall costs, highly skilled labour, redevelopment opportunities, much lower commute times and lifestyle amenities.

More to come.