The Ontario Economic Report (OER) is authored by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and offers a unique perspective on the experience of businesses of all sizes across the province.
The OER is comprised of three documents:
1. The Business Confidence Survey
2. The Business Prosperity Index
3. The Economic Outlook
Overall, the report presents a candid look at private sector sentiment and opportunities for economic growth for the year ahead.
As the survey of businesses across the province shows, businesses are gaining confidence in Ontario’s economic outlook as well as gaining confidence in themselves. Yet, they are still facing challenges such as access to talent, embracing technological innovations, and the cost of doing business which includes regulation, taxation, and input prices.
The report also recognizes that Ontario’s overall prosperity depends on the strength of its regional economies. And yet the challenges expressed by all are expected to be most acutely felt in rural regions of the province. In fact, a recent survey of the Peterborough Chamber membership identified that lack of access to talent was their number one barrier.
Mayor Diane Therrien attended the Ontario Economic Report launch and was one of the panelists speaking about the impact of the findings. She spoke to the need for broadband to be accessible for all businesses, the importance of re-skilling as the economy changes and adapts as well as the need for transportation systems in rural areas.
According to the Bank of Montreal Economic Outlook prepared for the report, in the Muskoka-Kawarthas CMA of which Peterborough City and Country are a part, there is limited change anticipated in
population, employment and job growth between 2018 and 2019.
The OCC says, “We should all be concerned that the province’s employment growth has been largely concentrated in the Greater Golden Horseshoe since 2003, while other regions have experienced slow or even negative growth during that same period.”
“This year will be a formative year for the Ontario economy. We call on decision-makers to develop thoughtful policies that foster competitiveness and address the potential vulnerabilities that loom large within our province,” stated Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of
Commerce. “We need to take action and address these challenges to build a stronger Ontario for years to come.”
As Ontario’s economy continues to face the many challenges outlined in the OER, the OCC’s 2019 Ontario Economic Summit will be dedicated to the question of competitiveness with an agenda that will explore how our province can lead in innovation, knowledge-generation, and trade.