[ATLANTIC REGION] — Atlantic Canada posted mixed economic results over the first half of 2012, according to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, with Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island showing robust growth, while Nova Scotia and New Brunswick performed weaker.
APEC's Summer issue of Atlantic Currents also noted that flagging global growth could weaken the region's exports in the second half of 2012 and lower commodity prices could slow key mine expansions.
"Average weekly wages across the Atlantic region increased at a stronger pace than the rest of Canada in the first five months of 2012, though real incomes only made significant gains in Newfoundland and Labrador," said APEC Senior Policy Analyst Fred Bergman, adding that Newfoundland and Labrador led Canada in terms of earnings growth over that period. "Prince Edward Island also showed strength, posting the highest employment growth in the Atlantic provinces in the first seven months of 2012.
"Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island also saw healthy retail spending, which grew faster than the rest of Canada in the first five months of 2012. However, retail spending was slower than the national rate in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick."
While exports grew in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island in the first half the year, Atlantic exports could soften in the second half of 2012 due to weakening economic growth, said Bergman.
"Slower growth in emerging markets has contributed to a drop in commodity prices, reducing the value of key Atlantic exports and potentially slowing planned mine expansions in the region."