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Economic Growth Factors in Victoria

As the provincial capital, Victoria's economic outlook is closely tied to the public administration sector, and strong hiring last year helped spur solid real GDP growth of 2.7 per cent. Fortunately, further public administration job gains are on tap for this year, though the rate of increase will be more moderate. As such, public administration output growth is projected to slow sharply from 6.8 per cent in 2016 to 1.3 per cent in 2017. Nonetheless, the overall economy is forecast to advance at a healthy pace of 2.1 per cent this year, as other industries help pick up the slack.  
In particular, several sectors on the services side are poised to post output growth greater than 2 per cent, including wholesale and retail trade, finance, insurance and real estate, personal services, and transportation and warehousing. The personal services and transportation and warehousing industries will both benefit from a strong tourism outlook, driven by healthy flight and cruise traffic as well as a weaker Canadian dollar. All in all, the aggregate services sector is forecast to post output gains of 2.1 per cent this year and next.
At the same time, a healthy mix of residential and non-residential projects are expected to fuel steady output growth of 2.4 per cent this year in Victoria's construction sector. Housing starts are forecast to dip from 2,900 units in 2016 to a still-strong 2,400 units this year. On the non-residential side, work continues on the McKenzie Interchange and the Sidney Gateway Shopping Centre. 
Finally, the manufacturing industry has been one of Victoria's top performers in recent years. However, growth is expected to slow to a still solid 2.8 per cent as several major contracts reach completion, including federal shipbuilding contracts at Seaspan's Victoria Shipyards.

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