HALIFAX — Despite growing unease about a possible global recession, a new study says the economic outlook for the Atlantic provinces remains positive for next year.

The independent Atlantic Provinces Economic Council says Prince Edward Island will once again lead the region in economic growth, with the Island’s real gross domestic product expected to rise by 2.8 per cent in 2020.

The non-profit think tank says P.E.I.’s economy will continue to grow as major project investment in the province is expected to reach record levels.

The Island’s red-hot economy, which has been on a tear for a number of years, is expected to grow by 3.0 per cent in 2019, thanks mainly to gains in household spending, manufacturing and exports.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s real GDP is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2019, mainly because of stronger oil production and mining — a trend that is expected to continue in 2020 when the growth rate is forecast to reach 2.4 per cent.

By comparison, Nova Scotia’s economy is expected to grow at a similar rate —  2.2 per cent in 2019 and 2.4 per cent in 2020, as gains are expected in wages, major project investment, manufacturing and exports.

New Brunswick is expected to record the weakest growth at 1.0 per cent in 2019 and 1.4 per cent the following year.

The study says New Brunswick’s economic growth will be fuelled by stronger immigration and a rise in home sales and housing starts.

“Global trade uncertainty is continuing to affect economic growth, creating fear it could trigger a recession,” the study said.

However, senior policy analyst Fred Bergman said the region remains somewhat insulated from global economic trends.

“This region’s households also have less mortgage debt relative to after-tax income because of lower home prices, providing a buffer against economic downturn,” Bergman said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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