Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island showed robust growth in the first half of 2012, according to the latest economic report from the Atlantic Province’s Economic Council (APEC).
APEC says Nova Scotia and New Brunswick performed weaker, contributing to mixed economic results in the Atlantic region.
The council’s summer issue of Atlantic Currents also noted that flagging global growth could weaken the region’s exports in the second half of 2012 and lower commodity prices could slow key mine expansions.
"Average weekly wages across the Atlantic region increased at a stronger pace than the rest of Canada in the first five months of 2012, though real incomes only made significant gains in Newfoundland and Labrador," APEC senior policy analyst Fred Bergman said in a release, adding that Newfoundland and Labrador led Canada in terms of earnings growth over that period. "Prince Edward Island also showed strength, posting the highest employment growth in the Atlantic provinces in the first seven months of 2012."
Bergman said Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island also saw healthy retail spending, which grew faster than the rest of Canada in the first five months of 2012. "However, retail spending was slower than the national rate in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick."
While exports grew in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island in the first half the year, Bergman said Atlantic exports could soften in the second half of 2012 due to weakening economic growth.
"Slower growth in emerging markets has contributed to a drop in commodity prices,” Bergman added, “reducing the value of key Atlantic exports and potentially slowing planned mine expansions in the region."