Supporting economic growth in Ontario.
The 2018 Ontario Economic Report (OER) is the second annual policy document aimed at spurring growth and prosperity in Ontario. Each year the OER presents the collective voice of our membership through the Business Confidence Survey, the Business Prosperity Index and the Economic Outlook. It will also detail our policy priorities for the coming year, based on economic research and consultation with our members.
Thank you to our landmark sponsor:
The OCC regularly surveys its members in order to understand the experience of business in Ontario. This data provides a grassroots look at the economy and can reveal developing trends in economic activity.
As observed in previous research with our membership, there is a considerable confidence gap between our members’ organizational and provincial economic outlooks. This trend continues in 2018. Only 23% of OCC members are confident in Ontario’s economic outlook.
The Business Prosperity Index (BPI) looks beyond the GDP and instead considers the process of wealth generation from business production and investment activities. As the voice of business in Ontario, the OCC believes that a deeper understanding of business prosperity is critical to understanding the prosperity of Ontario as a whole. This is our first iteration of the BPI. This version includes the most up-to-date data from 2000 to 2017. This Index is updated annually.
In 2018, we expect to see a stagnation in the Ontario economy. The Consumer Price Index is predicted to increase to 2.2 percent (from 1.7 percent in 2017), reflecting a rise in the price of market goods and services. GDP growth will slow to 2.4 percent, compared to 2.8 in 2017. Net migration is also expected to decrease to 185,000 from 190,000 in 2017. However, the unemployment rate will continue its downward trend, dropping -0.7 points over 2017 to 5.3 percent.
As we do each year, the OCC has determined our policy scope through the results of the Business Confidence Survey and the Business Prosperity Index, in consultation with our members, via the Ontario Chamber Network resolution process, by considering stated government priorities, and by building on the work of the previous year.
This process revealed three areas of focus: urbanization and housing, transportation infrastructure and governance, and the health and life sciences sector. These files, alongside continued work on regulation, taxation, competitiveness, energy, and the environment, represent the perspective of the Ontario business community, its interests and its needs.