Jean-Pierre Langlois, Economist, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Montreal, May 31, 2000 Montreal takes a breather
- After reaching new heights in job creation in 1999, Montreal has come back down to earth since the beginning of the year: 19,000 jobs have evaporated and unemployment is on the rise.
- Retail sales, which drive consumption, dwindled, although less than for the province as a whole.
- Even housing starts slumped in April after two exceptional months in February and March 2000.
But there's no reason to panic, far from it. At least for the moment. These results give the impression that Montreal had become too cocky in 1999 and is now recording more realistic figures. Who knows? We may be in store for more pleasant surprises during the year. One thing is for sure: by focusing on growing the new economy, Montreal will reap the fruit eventually. Moreover, the recovery of the real-estate market continues to surprise even the most sceptical.
The last edition of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal Trend Chart, made public today, shows indicators faring less well than in our last issue. But this needn't be cause for concern: Montreal should regain its momentum.
In this issue you will read that the number of professions in the new economy in many cases grew faster in Montreal than elsewhere in Canada. The same goes for high-knowledge jobs. "Contrary to what some may have led us to believe recently, we are not in terrible shape in certain key areas of the new economy compared with what is happening in the rest of the country," contended Board of Trade economist Pierre Langlois.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the public and influence towards government and decision-makers.