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File photo of the Saskatoon skyline. Saskatoon’s economy will grow by a hefty 5.2 per cent in 2013, up from 4.7 per cent last year, a Conference Board of Canada forecast says. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)
File photo of the Saskatoon skyline. Saskatoon’s economy will grow by a hefty 5.2 per cent in 2013, up from 4.7 per cent last year, a Conference Board of Canada forecast says. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Saskatoon, Regina to lead in 2013 economic growth: report Add to ...

Saskatoon and Regina are set to outpace other major Canadian cities this year as the fastest growing economies, the Conference Board of Canada is forecasting.

Boosted by strength in goods production, Saskatoon’s economy will grow by a hefty 5.2 per cent in 2013, up from 4.7 per cent last year, according to the think tank’s latest Metropolitan Outlook.

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The city’s Saskatchewan cousin Regina is heading for growth of 5 per cent this year, following real gross domestic product (GDP) increases above five per cent in two of the last three years, says the report.

“Saskatoon and Regina continue to sizzle. In 2013, both economies are expected to grow about three times as fast as the overall Canadian economy,” said Mario Lefebvre, director of the board’s municipal studies centre.

“Vibrant job markets in Saskatoon and Regina are attracting newcomers from all over Canada and abroad, boosting population growth and spurring demand for housing.”

Calgary will see a slowdown in 2013 – real GDP growth of 3.3 per cent, down from 4.3 per cent – due mostly to the impact of the floods that hit the area earlier this year, but goods-sector gains will help offset an anticipated easing in the services sector, says the report.

Edmonton is on track for economic growth of 4.2 per cent this year thanks to energy-related investment that is boosting the construction, primary and manufacturing sectors.

Vancouver looks to be a laggard, with growth of only 2.2 per cent this year as a result of slumping activity in manufacturing and construction, according to the quarterly publication.

Due to a decline in manufacturing and a weak services sector, Toronto’s real GDP growth is expected to come in at only 1.6 per cent in 2013, while Montreal, Quebec City and Hamilton, Ont. will likely put in growth of 1.3 per cent.

Other cities forecast growth rates:

Winnipeg: 1.4 per cent

Halifax: 1.7 per cent

Ottawa-Gatineau: 0.8 per cent

Victoria: 0.1 per cent

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