New Brunswick is beginning to witness positive economic trends and recent successes that will position the province for further economic growth.
- Since 2014, the government has cut the province’s deficit by 67 per cent, and is on track to eliminate the deficit by the 2020 budget.
- New Brunswick saw economic growth hit a 10-year high in 2015. This trend continued into 2016 when real GDP growth reached 1.4 per cent.
- The growth seen in 2016 exceeded the national rate and surpassed the 0.4 per cent growth projected by the government and economic analysts when the 2017-18 budget was released.
- Private capital expenditures have rebounded, exceeding 2013 levels in 2014 and 2016. In 2015, they reached almost $2 billion, a level not seen since 2011.
- The total population of those 15 and over in the province reached an all-time provincial high of 624,800 in July 2017.
- Average weekly earnings were up by 2.3 per cent in 2016 – compared to 2.8 per cent growth in 2015 – and above the national result of 0.4 per cent. Tied with Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick had the highest growth in average weekly earnings countrywide in 2016.
- The unemployment rate has been in the single digits and falling steadily for all of 2017 thus far. In July, New Brunswick’s unemployment rate was 6.5 per cent, the lowest in Atlantic Canada.
- In addition, Standard and Poor’s, a global credit rating agency, announced New Brunswick has maintained an A+ credit rating with a stable outlook for the third consecutive year. The announcement highlighted modest improvements in budgetary performance, a predictable and well-managed institutional framework, and slow but positive economic growth. This is encouraging.
- The province’s quality of life is also on the rise. The Conference Board of Canada has named New Brunswick the top ranked province in their society index, giving the province an A+ for life satisfaction. This report confirms what New Brunswickers already know: that this province is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
The trends are proof of the steady gains in the economy but government recognizes that there is more to do.
The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan is the provincial government’s plan to grow the economy and create job opportunities. It outlines how the government will mobilize to ensure there is a coordinated, complementary effort to improve New Brunswick’s economy and realize maximum benefits.
The plan focuses on five pillars of economic development:
- People – strengthen the workforce;
- Innovation - expand the capacity for the generation of ideas and innovation;
- Capital - increase private-sector investment;
- Infrastructure - foster investment from the public and private sector in strategic infrastructure; and
- Agility - foster agility and nimbleness in the public sector and across the economy.
The Economic Growth Plan also outlines a number of key opportunities that are currently being pursued, including: smart grid, boosting new farmers, cybersecurity, blueberry development, home-based work, business services centres, marijuana, local food and beverage strategy, tourism, maple syrup and maple syrup tourism, Energy East and Sisson Molybdenum/Tungsten Mine.
To see more economic and social indicators, visit the Department of Finance website.
Updated: September 2017
MEDIA CONTACT(S): Sarah Bustard, communications, Department of Finance, (506) 444-5026, firstname.lastname@example.org