City of St. John’s Economic Outlook 2016

Economic Outlook 2016 reports that economic growth in the St. John’s Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) is expected to increase marginally this year, with real gross domestic product (GDP) expected to increase by 0.7 per cent.

“Household income and retail trade are expected to continue to hold their own with modest growth throughout 2016,” said Mayor Dennis O’Keefe. “However, we do see the economic slowdown being reflected in the labour market data and continuing decline in the number of housing starts.”

Retail sales are expected to grow by 1.4 per cent to reach $4 billion this year. Housing starts throughout 2016 are expected to decline by 25 per cent to 739 units. The unemployment rate is expected to increase to 6.9 per cent, compared to 6.5 per cent in 2015.

“This report gives us a better sense of how the local economy will perform throughout 2016,” says Councillor Dave Lane, Chair of the Economic Development, Tourism and Public Engagement Standing Committee. “With changing economic conditions it is always beneficial to be informed of how this is impacting various industries.”

The population of the St. John’s CMA is estimated to grow to 216,800 persons, an increase of 1.2% compared to 2015. The total CMA population accounts for over 40 per cent of the province’s population.

The demographics of this area have changed significantly over the past 30 years, and persons 55 years and over account for a larger percentage of the population. This report also discusses labour market activity among older workers, as they now account for larger shares of the labour force and employment.