Manitoba tied with Prince Edward Island for the third-best economic-growth performance among Canada's provinces in 2016, according to new Statistics Canada data.
In its 2016 Gross Domestic Product by Industry report released Monday, the federal agency said Manitoba posted real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.4 per cent last year. That's up from 2.1 per cent in 2015 and 1.4 per cent in 2014.
The only two provinces to record stronger growth last year were British Columbia and Ontario, at 3.7 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.
Manitoba's growth rate was more than a full percentage point higher than the national average of 1.3 per cent. Canada's number was pulled down by another weak year for two of the country's biggest oil producing provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, which saw their GDP decline by 3.8 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively.
Leading the way for Manitoba was a 3.4 per cent increase in goods output. The biggest contributor there was a 20 per cent increase in engineering construction output, as work ramped up on two major electric power-generation and transmission projects in northern Manitoba.
Another key contributor was a 2.4 per cent increase in manufacturing output, as gains in the food products, pharmaceuticals and medicines, wood products and miscellaneous manufactured goods categories offset declines in transportation equipment and in agricultural, construction and mining machinery.
Other industries that saw output growth were crop production (up 4.5 per cent), copper, nickel, lead and zinc mining (up 3.4 per cent), and electric power generation, transmission and distribution (up 2.4 per cent).
Those gains were partially offset by declines in residential and non-residential building construction, oil and gas engineering construction, and conventional oil and gas extraction.
On the services side, Statistics Canada said service-producing industries saw their output climb by 2.0 per cent in 2016.
"Finance and insurance services increased 3.9 per cent on higher output from financial-investment services, banking services and insurance carriers," it noted.
"There were also notable contributions from retail trade, transportation and warehousing, health-care services, lessors of real estate and food and drinking places. Wholesale trade was essentially unchanged."
The Statistics Canada report also included the real GDP growth for the three territories, although most economic forecasters tend to focus on just the provinces. The agency said Yukon posted the strongest growth among the three, at 8.2 per cent. Nunavut saw its economy expand by 3.9 per cent, while the Northwest Territories saw its GDP decline by a modest 0.1 per cent.