The latest update from Statistics Canada has confirmed that the economy continues to go from strength to strength. The economy is enjoying the ‘rarified territory’ of continued growth of well over 3%. The figures follow on from the growth rate of 3.7% enjoyed during the first three months of 2017, marking out a strong start to the year. Indeed, economists are excited enough to be projecting growth of above 3% for the whole of 2017.
Ontario’s economy is certainly holding its own in the context of this positive national picture. Employment is booming, with 26,000 jobs added in July alone, according to data from Statistics Canada. The expansion of services industries is leading the growth, from professional, technical and scientific services to finance/insurance, real estate and healthcare.
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For Cornwall residents, this glowing economic picture brings plenty of good news. Confidence is high and residents are living and spending accordingly, just as they are across the country. The ultra-low interest rates of recent years have made borrowing inexpensive for families, with the option to enjoy a secured credit card in Canada a realistic and affordable way to make big purchases.
For most families, the biggest purchase they will ever make is a house, and the good news continues when it comes to Cornwall’s housing market. The Cornwall and District Real Estate Board reports that home sales in July 2017 have risen by 2.3% compared with the number of sales in July 2016. That follows near record-setting levels of sales over the course of May and June 2017.
Rising sales figures have been accompanied by rising house prices. The sale price of the average home in Cornwall on a year-to-date basis was $209,533 in July. That’s an increase of 2.5% compared with the same period in 2016.
The interest rate hike from 0.5% to 0.75% in July (which marked the first rate increase since 2010) is a further indication of the robust growth that the country is currently enjoying. On a global scale, Canada is enjoying rising trade volumes, in line with the general improvement of the world economy. Global output is projected by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook to grow by 3.5% during 2017, and by 3.6% in 2018. The global picture is one of economic stability, diminishing risk and low volatility. All of which filters down to being great news for Cornwall residents!
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Looking forward, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce projects that unemployment will continue to fall over the course of 2017, following drops of 0.3% in 2015 and 0.1% in 2016. Meanwhile, labour market participation is projected to remain steadily on track at 65%, while the Ontario population increases over the year.
Whichever way you look at it – locally, nationally or globally – the picture is a great deal rosier than it was just a few years ago. Could it be that we are finally learning from the harsh economic lessons of the past and putting those lessons to good use, thus safeguarding the future of areas like Cornwall for the coming generations?