Hamilton has come out the winner in the National Bank of Canada’s Metropolitan Economic Momentum Index (MEMI) for the third quarter of 2017. The bank constructed the Metropolitan Economic Momentum Index (MEMI) to gauge the current economic momentum of 20 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in Canada, with a special emphasis on their fiscal capacity.
The index measures growth in six quarterly economic indicators:
- average employment level in quarter,
- average unemployment level in quarter,
- housing starts,
- number of MLS home sales,
- investment in non-residential building construction in constant dollars,
- and the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index™.
The National Bank release states, “Growth in the MEMI over the past four quarters indicates that Hamilton is the top-performing CMA in this period, though this is due to employment growth reported by Statistics Canada at a hard to-believe 12.5% and a consequent drop in the unemployment rate of 2.1 percentage points.”
The wide confidence interval for the employment estimate sets the minimum growth at 3.1%, which still indicates that Hamilton outpaced most of the other CMAs. In fact, Hamilton nearly doubled the confidence index of its nearest rival in this regard.
After Hamilton, St. Catharines–Niagara showed the strongest economic momentum, followed by Kitchener-Cambridge–Waterloo. These two CMAs, like that of Toronto and the others part of the Golden Horseshoe, registered house price growth well in the double digits.