Media Release: FAO releases Ontario economic monitor


TORONTO, May 29, 2024  Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released a new quarterly report which provides an overview of the latest trends in the Ontario economy from October 2023 to March 2024.

Ontario’s economic activity measured by real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2023, continuing a pattern of slowing growth underway since the Bank of Canada raised interest rates in early 2022 to return inflation to its 2% target.

The latest economic indicators suggest that Ontario’s economy improved modestly in the first quarter of 2024, with gains in employment, retail sales, housing market activity and exports. However, business activity softened, as manufacturing sales and wholesale trade both declined slightly. 

The weakness in the last quarter of 2023 and modest gains in the first quarter of 2024 are consistent with the FAO’s latest economic forecast published in its Spring 2024 Economic and Budget Outlook (EBO). The EBO projected real GDP growth of 1.1% in 2024, a slight slowdown from the 1.2% growth recorded in 2023.

To learn more, read the full report here.

Quick Facts:

  • Since the Bank of Canada began increasing interest rates in early 2022, Ontario real GDP growth has averaged 0.3% per quarter (2022 Q2 to 2023 Q4), about half the quarterly average of 0.6% from 2011 to 2019.
  • Employment increased by 12,900 (or 0.2%) in 2024 Q1, with the gains concentrated in part-time positions (+39,600), while full-time jobs declined (-26,700).
  • Ontario's employment growth has been weak since mid-2023, causing the unemployment rate to increase to 6.5% in 2024 Q1, up more than a full percentage point from 5.2% in 2023 Q1.
  • Ontario’s CPI inflation rate was 2.6% in 2024 Q1, down from a peak of 7.5% in 2022 Q2 and the lowest rate since 2021 Q1.

About the FAO:

Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Visit our website or follow us on X and LinkedIn for more information on our reports.


For further information, please contact:

Sophia Zhu l 416 931 5498 l l