Windsor's Economy Expected To Cool In 2018

The Conference Board of Canada is forecasting a 'cooling' of Windsor's economy.

The board has has released its Metropolitan Outlook – Winter 2018.

The outlook is expecting the local economy to 'cool' with real GDP advancing by 2.1% in 2018, following four straight years in which growth exceeded 3%.

Alan Arcand is an Associate Director for the Centre for Municipal Studies at the Board.

Speaking on AM800's The Afternoon News, he says Windsor's economy has grown by more than three percent in the last four years.

"It's the kind of growth the city has seen since the late 1990's but we just think those days are probably over for now but you're going to set on to a pattern of growth closer to two percent and less over the near term," says Arcand.       

He says the labour force survey data reflects broader trends in Canada.

"You can make an argument what the city has enjoyed the last couple of years, few years is quite strong and something you shouldn't expect to last forever," says Arcand.  "Especially in the Canadian context of an aging population that's really going to limit economic growth over the next number of years and that's a trend that's going to affect Windsor too."   

Arcand says employment fell in Windsor in 2017.

"We do expect job growth to resume this year," says Arcand.  "In fact looking at data for the first two months of 2018, we do think employment is up so far this year so our forecast is looking pretty good there."

The report goes on to say, U.S. light vehicle sales appeared to have reached a cyclical peak, signalling slower manufacturing growth. This will be the main headwind to the city's economic growth, with rising interest rates playing a secondary role.

However, employment is expected to bounce back from last year's 1.0% decline, generating a total of 4,700 net new jobs over 2018–19.

Still, the labour force is projected to grow at a faster pace this year, causing the unemployment rate to jump by almost a full percentage point to 6.5%.