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Province's economic growth still second only to Alberta's

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WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s economy is still on track to post the second-strongest growth in the country this year, the Conference Board of Canada said today.

In its summer provincial outlook report, the Ottawa-based think-tank said it still expects the Manitoba economy to grow by 2.9 per cent this year in spite of weakening growth in emerging markets, Europe’s fiscal and economic woes, and sluggish growth in its main export market — the United States.

The only province it thinks will do better is Alberta, with anticipated growth of 3.8 per cent.

The board said a big rebound in the agriculture sector, coupled with strong growth in the mining, manufacturing and construction industries, should keep the Manitoba economy humming in 2012.

However, growth is expected to slow to 2.4 per cent — fifth-best among the provinces — in 2013, the board said. In its spring report, it had forecast growth of 2.6 per cent for 2013.

The board said while the agriculture sector should have another good year, its growth will be more muted than this year — 4.1 per cent versus 10 per cent.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

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