OTTAWA — There is a hot spot in Canada’s lacklustre economy — the North.
The Conference Board says a global commodities boom is igniting a fire under Canada’s three northern territories, forecasting they will be growth leaders over the next two years.
Real gross domestic product growth will collectively top seven per cent in both 2012 and 2013, more than three times the national average.
Even resource-rich Alberta and Saskatchewan won’t be approaching growth in percentage terms in the territories over the next couple of years.
Although the forecast is only for two years, the think-tank says the territories, with a population of only about 112,000, are entering a prolonged period of expansion with several mining projects coming on stream.
It predicts Nunavut’s output, with a youthful population, will grow by 16 per cent this year, and employment by 6.4 per cent on average over the next three years.
After suffering a setback in 2012 due to declines in diamond production and construction, the Northwest Territories will rebound to 5.9 per cent growth this year.
The Yukon’s mining boom is expected to continue, although growth will be a relatively weak 2.9 per cent after an 8.6 spurt in 2011.