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Ontario Economy Growth Leader in First Quarter

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Ontario Economy a Growth Leader in First Quarter of 2016

Ontario’s economy continues to post strong growth despite a challenging global landscape, according to the province’s Economic Accounts for the first quarter of 2016.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario posted higher real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2016 than Canada, the U.S. and all other G7 countries. The province’s real GDP grew by 0.8 per cent in the quarter, or a 3.0 per cent annualized rate. This followed similar growth of 0.8 per cent — 3.3 per cent annualized — in the fourth quarter of 2015. Ontario’s economy is expected to remain one of the fastest-growing in Canada over the next two years.

Ontario’s first-quarter gain was driven by higher exports and household spending. Exports rose by 1.7 per cent, rising for the fourth consecutive quarter, on the strength of automotive exports and consumer goods. Manufacturing real GDP grew by 1.2 per cent on the strength of increased production in the auto industry.

Since the end of the recession, Ontario’s real GDP has increased by 17.3 per cent, and it is now 11.8 per cent above its pre-recession level.

“Ontario’s strong economic growth in the first quarter of 2016 confirms that we are delivering on our government’s top priority of creating growth and good jobs. Our economic plan is working, and we are building a strong and prosperous future for our province.” — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

The government’s economic plan is building Ontario up and delivering on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement. Ontario is on track to balance the budget next year, in 2017-18, which will also continue to lower the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio.


  • The Premier announced the first-quarter results today during a visit to Infusion, a Toronto technology solutions development company that employs 200 people in Ontario’s growing technology sector.
  • Since the recessionary low in June 2009, employment has increased by 625,100 net new jobs. Ontario now has 352,600 more jobs than at the pre-recessionary peak — a 5.3 per cent gain.
    Ontario’s unemployment rate declined to 6.4 per cent in June, which is below the national average and the lowest rate since September 2008.
  • Private-sector forecasters project on average that Ontario’s real GDP will grow by 2.6 per cent in 2016, up from 2.3 per cent at the time of February’s 2016 Budget.
  • The government is projected to meet its deficit target for the seventh year in a row, and it remains on track to eliminate the deficit next year in 2017–18 and maintain a balanced budget in 2018–19.