Nfld. & Labrador

N.L. forecast to lead economic growth parade in 2013

The Conference Board of Canada says Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to be the runaway leader in economic growth among all provinces this year.

Conference Board of Canada says positive trend will continue into 2014

A resurgence in oil production will help Newfoundland and Labrador lead all provinces in economic growth this year, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to be the runaway leader in economic growth among all provinces this year, according to a report issued by the Conference Board of Canada.

The board says that trend will continue in 2014.

Newfoundland and Labrador's real gross domestic product, or GDP, fell by 4.8 per cent in 2012.

But the Conference Board believes the provincial economy will make up all of that and more in 2013, growing by an estimated six per cent this year.

Revenues from the offshore are a leading factor, with oil production expected to rise by 12.5 per cent. Private sector investment will continue to climb to all-time highs, the board notes.

In 2014, Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to lead all provinces again with growth of 3.4 per cent.

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are also expected to grow faster than the national average of 1.8 per cent this year.

"The economic outlooks for provinces in 2013 are very uneven," said the Conference Board’s Marie-Christine Bernard.

The board’s provincial outlook is published quarterly.

Similar prediction by economist earlier this year

The Conference Board’s positive prediction follows on the heels of similar comments by one of the country's top economists.

In January, CIBC's Avery Shenfeld told the St. John's Board of Trade that Newfoundland and Labrador will lead the country in 2013 with a forecast 4.4 per cent  GDP growth, largely because offshore oil production will come back to full strength.

Shenfeld said the province had no overall growth and was the poorest provincial performer for 2012, despite good employment numbers.

"2012 was a year where most of the economy did fine, but because of disruptions in energy output and because that sector is so large, it actually makes the overall growth number pretty close to zero," Shenfeld said in January.