The recession may be slowing in our region but it’s too soon to head to the recovery room, according to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC).

In an update released yesterday, the council says there have been fewer job losses and more consumer spending in recent months, while real GDP is expected to expand at the end of this year. But overall economic growth will likely not come until 2011, the APEC says.

Signs of hope are seen in Atlantic Canada’s employment rate, which grew by 4,400 jobs in June, according to Statistics Canada’s recently released Labour Force Survey. Since April, the Atlantic region has added 8,000 jobs and dropped total job losses to less than 11,000 since last October, the survey says.


But the APEC says employment levels will “remain weak over the next few months” due to more layoffs in the forest industry and scaling back by local General Motors dealerships.

Those who have hopped on planes to Alberta looking for work are now retreating back to Atlantic Canada, the council says, explaining the number of people returning to their home provinces is up because of the slump in the oil and gas sector.

The council revealed some longer-term concerns, such as the “enlarged provincial deficit” and the aging population of the Atlantic region. The report adds that the growing federal deficit could also lead to cuts in transfer payments to the Atlantic provinces.

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