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Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo economy to continue upward trend in coming years: report

While 2018 appears set to follow a four-year trend in which the tri-cities have trailed the province’s GDP, in the five years prior to that, it was above the average.
While 2018 appears set to follow a four-year trend in which the tri-cities have trailed the province’s GDP, in the five years prior to that, it was above the average. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

The Waterloo Region’s economy will continue to grow in the coming years, according to a new report by The Conference Board of Canada.

The Board’s Metropolitan Outlook looks at the economics of 29 census metropolitan areas in Canada.

It states that GDP within the region will grow 1.4 per cent in 2019 and by two per cent next year.

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“The outlook is fairly solid,” Robin Wiebe, a senior economist with the Centre for Municipal Studies and one of the report’s authors, told Global News.

“We’re calling for growth to slow just a little bit, but certainly 1.4 percent growth for GDP overall is pretty decent.”

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He said things are expected to improve next year and beyond.

“We’re going to back up above two percent for GDP growth and then we’re looking at two percent GDP growth through the remainder of the forecast, so the outlook for Kitchnener is pretty decent all told,” he said.

While 2018 appears set to follow a four-year trend in which the tri-cities have trailed the province’s GDP, in the five years prior to that, it was above the average.

This means the economy of the Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo area has outpaced the province as a whole.

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“In the nine years to 2018, we figure that the area’s economy expanded 22 percent compared with 18 percent across the province,” Wiebe explained.

A byproduct of the growth is the massive population influx in the region in 2018, which saw almost 12,000 people move in.

“That’s nearly triple the 20-year average. So that’s strong growth by any standard,” he said.

Part of that influx of fresh faces can be attributed to the area’s low unemployment rate.

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The report says that Kitchener is forecasted reach a 30-year-record low unemployment rate in 2019.

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Kitchener RCMP seize $10M in drugs, charge 11 people including 2 Sunwing employees
Kitchener RCMP seize $10M in drugs, charge 11 people including 2 Sunwing employees