OTTAWA – The Royal Bank is projecting the Maritimes will have the slowest growing economies in the country this year, with New Brunswick at the bottom and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island tied for second last among the provinces.
The bank is projecting sluggish growth in Nova Scotia of just 1.2 per cent for 2013, compared to a national projection of 1.8 per cent.
The economists are also projecting Nova Scotia’s economy will produce fewer than 500 jobs in 2013, the fifth consecutive year of employment growth of less than one per cent.
The economists say delays in the Deep Panuke offshore natural gas production facility and sluggish activity in the local economy are contributing to the slow growth rate.
The study says “choppy” economic waters will prevail in New Brunswick’s energy sector for the balance of the year, and overall growth is expected to be 0.8 per cent for the year.
Prince Edward Island has the same projected growth rate as Nova Scotia, due in part to falling exports of aerospace parts and potatoes.
The bank is projecting Newfoundland and Labrador to have a six per cent growth rate this year, due largely to exports of its offshore oil.