Ontario's economy continues to post strong growth despite a challenging global landscape, according to the province's Economic Accounts for the first quarter of 2016.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario posted higher real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2016 than Canada, the U.S. and all other G7 countries. The province's real GDP grew by 0.8 per cent in the quarter, or a 3.0 per cent annualized rate. This followed similar growth of 0.8 per cent -- 3.3 per cent annualized -- in the fourth quarter of 2015. Ontario's economy is expected to remain one of the fastest-growing in Canada over the next two years.
Ontario's first-quarter gain was driven by higher exports and household spending. Exports rose by 1.7 per cent, rising for the fourth consecutive quarter, on the strength of automotive exports and consumer goods. Manufacturing real GDP grew by 1.2 per cent on the strength of increased production in the auto industry.
Since the end of the recession, Ontario's real GDP has increased by 17.3 per cent, and it is now 11.8 per cent above its pre-recession level.
The government's economic plan is building Ontario up and delivering on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement. Ontario is on track to balance the budget next year, in 2017-18, which will also continue to lower the province's debt-to-GDP ratio.