They’re small gains, but according to the 2018 Economic Review released by the City of St. John’s today, the GDP is climbing, the labour market is improving and the population is growing in the St. John’s Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)
The new housing market, however, didn’t fare so well in 2018.
Thanks largely to an increase in oil production, the GDP is estimated to have increased 1 per cent to $17.1 billion in 2018. The city notes that without the oil and gas industry effect, the CMA would have experienced a 2.2 per cent decrease.
Employment climbed a meagre .7 per cent, in line with the provincial numbers, but within that figure goods sector employment increased by 2.8 per cent. The unemployment rate stayed at a static 8.4 per cent, the highest of all 33 CMAs in Canada.
The population increased .6 per cent to sit at 220,500 as of July 1.
The bad news was in the housing starts, which fell a staggering 17.2 per cent to 632 single and multiple unit stars. Good news for buyers, however, as the Canadian Real Estate Association indicates that housing sales and average sale prices tumbled by 5 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.
As for 2019, “Economic growth in the CMA, as measured by real GDP, is expected to increase in 2019 due to further
increases in oil production. However, other indicators such as employment, household income and housing
starts may be more subdued as the economy continues to adjust to lower Muskrat Falls activity and government restraint,” the report reads.