As western Canada booms, eastern provinces struggle

Sep 14, 2012 | 01:41 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  MSCI, economic forecast conference, BMO Capital Markets, Michael Gregory, competetiveness, natural resources, Michael Cowden

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Canada has outperformed the United States since coming out of the 2009 recession, but while resource-rich western provinces are thriving, manufacturing-oriented eastern provinces in are struggling, according to one economist.

High commodity prices since 2003 have proven to be a boon to the Canadian dollar and such provinces as Alberta, which are rich in oil and other natural resources, according to Michael Gregory, senior economist and head of Canadian rates strategy and managing director at BMO Capital Markets Corp. But a strong Canadian dollar undercuts the competitiveness of manufacturers in such areas as southern Ontario, where current high costs make auto assembly plants, for example, less competitive.....

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