On May 10, Niagara Economic Development released its newest Niagara Economic Update report, which shows that Niagara has shown good economic performance coming out of the pandemic with substantial improvements in gross domestic product, household disposable income, business counts, labour force and employment.
In the first quarter of 2021, Niagara’s gross domestic product was $16.3 billion; however, gross domestic product grew rapidly to $17.6 billion (about eight per cent) by the end of 2022. Gross domestic product is the end value of all goods and services produced in an economy during a period of time. Niagara’s gross domestic product is forecasted to grow by $300 million (about two per cent) by the end of 2023 and by $800 million (about four per cent) by the end of 2024.
In addition, Niagara’s household disposable income per capita grew by about nine per cent from the first quarter of 2021 compared to the last quarter of 2022. Niagara’s household disposable income per capita is expected to continue to grow by another six per cent before the end of 2024. Although Niagara is slightly behind Ontario’s growth rate, it is still trending in a positive direction.
Business counts is another example of how Niagara is showing good economic performance. From 2022 to 2023, Niagara gained a net 1,066 new businesses totalling 44,429 overall. Additionally, Niagara’s labour characteristics are currently strong. In the first quarter of 2021, Niagara’s labour force was 209,900. By the fourth quarter of 2022, the labour force reached 229,400.
Employment has also been growing in Niagara. In the first quarter of 2021, employment was 181,800 but increased substantially by the end of 2022 to 218,900. In addition, the unemployment rate for Niagara reached historically low levels by the fourth quarter of 2022 to about five per cent, which was a substantial decrease from a high of 13.4 per cent at the beginning of 2021.
Niagara’s economic outlook currently looks positive; however, the full effects of the Bank of Canada policy interest rate increase could impact future growth indicators. The impact of the Bank of Canada’s policy interest rate hikes are not fully reflected in most of the economic indicators currently available.
Read the full Niagara Economic Development Update report to learn more information.
“Niagara’s current economic outlook looks promising. Niagara continues to attract new investment and employment remains strong. With that said, we will be monitoring the impacts of the Bank of Canada policy interest rate increase and the potential short-term effects it could have on Niagara’s economic performance.” ~ George Spezza, Director, Economic Development, Niagara Region