Modest Economic Growth on Horizon for Greater Sudbury Economy
Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and the Credit Unions of Ontario release 2015 economic outlook for Greater Sudbury Area
(Greater Sudbury, Jan. 26, 2015): Greater Sudbury’s economy is poised for moderate growth in 2015 and 2016, according to a new economic forecast released by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and the Credit Unions of Ontario.
After a year in which employment edged down, job growth is forecast to remain steady in 2015 and edge up 0.5 percent in 2016, with contributions from government services, retail-wholesale trade and manufacturing. Job creation will continue to outpace growth in the city’s labour force, causing the unemployment rate to edge lower to an estimated 5.8 percent in 2016, well down from its recent peak of 9.3 percent in 2009.
“This year we’re expecting to see modest gains in the job market and a lowering of the unemployment rate moving into 2016”, says Geoff Jeffery, Chair of the Board, Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce.
The fortunes of Greater Sudbury and the surrounding region are closely entwined with the outlook for global markets for primary products such as steel and metals.
“Moving forward, the mining sector will be supported by an expected moderate improvement in commodity prices through to 2016”, adds Jeffery. Nickel, zinc and lead prices are expected to move higher over the next two years, with copper prices following in 2016 as the U.S. economy picks up steam and the global economic recovery slowly takes hold.
The region’s housing market continues to perform, but is slowing compared to previous years. Sales are forecast to slide lower in 2015 and rebound slightly in 2016. The average sale price will edge up by 1.2 percent in both 2015 and 2016, outperforming the rest of Northeastern Ontario. By 2016, the average price of a home in Sudbury will be in the range of $256,000.
Private-sector investment in non-residential building construction is forecast to decline in 2015, while public-sector investment in non-residential building construction stalls. Commercial building construction in Greater Sudbury jumped last year and is expected to fall back to historical levels in 2015 and 2016.
Low commodity prices and uncertainty around development timelines are presenting challenges to the advancement of the Ring of Fire, which would be a significant contributor to the Northeast economy.
“Despite these challenges however, proponents of the Ring of Fire continue to pursue development in the area, and as infrastructure challenges are addressed and commodity prices are improved, there are reasonable prospects that momentum for this vast resource could build during the forecast period”, says Jeffery.
Key Facts and Highlights:
- Greater Sudbury’s population and employment growth lag behind the provincial average. While employment is expected to rise slightly over the next two years (0.1 increase in 2015 and 0.5 increase in 2016), the population will grow only by 0.1 percent in 2015 and 2016.
- The unemployment rate in Greater Sudbury CMA is expected to slide to 5.8 percent in 2016, well down from its recent peak of 9.3 percent in 2009.
- Total employment for Greater Sudbury is forecast to remain steady in 2015 and edge up 0.5 percent in 2016.
- Average housing prices are edging up slowly in Greater Sudbury, and are projected to reach an average price of $256,000 by 2016, up from $201,000 in 2009.
- Housing sales are expected to rise in 2016, after falling slightly in 2015. Sudbury has experienced several years of declining housing sales.
A copy of the outlook for Greater Sudbury can be found HERE. The document also presents summary data for the regional economic outlook of Ontario.
For more information, please contact:
Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
Policy and Communication Manager
705-673-7133 ext. 224