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Oshawa CMA anticipates major GDP growth in city

Oshawa is expected to see a rebound in gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).

The Conference Board of Canada is anticipating GDP growth of 5.2 per cent this year, and 4.7 per cent in 2022, according to the Winter 2021 Major City Insights Report.

The report also anticipates that manufacturing output in the Oshawa area will rebound by 8.2 per cent in 2021 and 8.5 per cent in 2022, while construction output will rebound by 6.8 per cent in 2021 and 4.3 per cent in 2022.

Regional and City Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpitri, chair of the development services committee, says this is positive news for Oshawa that points to solid job and growth projections in the community.

“It has been extremely difficult to be a small business owner during this past year,” he says. “We are encouraged to learn that the Conference Board anticipates recovery ahead for our local economy and business community.”

A CMA is defined as an area consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities with a 100,000 population, situated around a core of at least 50,000. The Oshawa CMA includes Oshawa, Whitby, and Clarington.

According to the board, the projections point to a significantly improved job market, with employment predicted to expand by 5.9 per cent this year.

The report cites the reopening of GM Canada’s assembly in the city and steady non-residential construction activity as key factors in the rebounding of Oshawa’s manufacturing sector and the recovery of Oshawa’s construction output in 2021.

Furthermore, the report anticipates that the Oshawa CMA will welcome 4,700 newcomers in 2021 and notes that housing prices will support population growth in the Oshawa CMA in 2022 and beyond.

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter says this is another strong indicator that Oshawa’s economy is on a pathway towards healing from the challenges of the pandemic.

“We celebrate this positive news and will let it lift our spirits as we continue to focus on supporting local business and restoring quality jobs to our great city,” he says.

In other recent news, Statistics Canada has reported that the Oshawa CMA is leading the country in population growth, with a growth rate at 2.1 per cent in 2020.

In 2020, Oshawa issued $480.4 million in construction permits and recorded nine building records.

Councillor Rosemary McConkey, vice-chair of the development services committee, says, “These very positive predictions for growth and jobs are reassuring bright lights that indicate how well positioned the Oshawa CMA is to embrace and advance changes that will accelerate the local economy when it reopens.”