Newfoundlanders and Labradorians find their happy place
It was the summer that wasn’t, with temperatures regularly dipping below 10 degrees Celsius throughout July — and one unforgettable day where St. John’s scored colder than the North Pole. But neither the month which locals dubbed “Juleuary”, nor cooling global petroleum prices, nor an economic slowdown that Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis predicts will be in place until 2018, could cool the enthusiasm of the province’s business community. Yes, N.L. entrepreneurs are among the most optimistic in the country (behind P.E.I., B.C. and N.S.). Better yet, that confidence is growing, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ July 2015 Business Barometer survey. It’s worth noting that survey findings were collected before the July 28 approval of the offshore oil White Rose Extension Project. Goodbye, low pressure system; hello, warm front.
High-Low There’s a curious disconnect between the province’s biggest employers and its most valuable revenue generators: some of the biggest GDP contributors are on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to employment numbers.
Premier Paul Davis, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
According to The Economy 2015, published by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the next five years will bring increases in GDP, household income and retail sales as well as unemployment (slightly) and the consumer price index (11 per cent — yikes).
Bill Stirling CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors
The oil industry — N.L.’s biggest revenue generator (responsible for 28.4 per cent of GDP) — took a significant hit in recent years as oil production declined 5.7 per cent in 2014 and the price of Brent crude dropped 8.8 per cent over 2013. However, The Economy 2015 reports that a rebound is on the near horizon: “Beyond 2018, the economy is forecast to grow again. Production from Hebron, Muskrat Falls and the Voisey’s Bay underground mine, as well as development of other offshore resources, such as Statoil’s Bay du Nord discovery, are expected to provide a boost to the province’s economy.”
Paul Barnes Manager, Atlantic Canada & Arctic Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers