Ontario's economic funk to last decades, report says

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa. (STAN BEHAL/QMI AGENCY)

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa. (STAN BEHAL/QMI AGENCY)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 6:58 PM ET

TORONTO — Ontario's best economic days are long gone — for the foreseeable future, at least.

After an average annual GDP growth of 2.6% between 1982 and 2013, Ontario's Long-Term Report on the Economy is predicting slower growth until at least 2035.

GDP — gross domestic product — is the value of goods produced and services provided within a year.

Real GDP growth in Ontario will average 2.5% until 2017 and 2.1% over the next two decades, the report says.

Over that same long-term range, it's expected that the rest of Canada will see higher growth — 2.2% on average.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa insisted, however, the long-term report shows the province is poised for strong economic growth.

"It looks 20 years into the future and talks about our great strengths built up over the last 10 years — a well-educated workforce, a strong financial sector, our innovative schools and hospitals," Sousa said. "But it also notes some looming challenges — for example, changing demographics."

The province's GDP declined by almost 5% and employment dropped in the fallout from the 2008-09 global recession, the economic report says.


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