The Ontario Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the London Chamber of Commerce, released the inaugural Ontario Economic Report on Tuesday.

It is aimed at shaping and informing future public policy.

The OER includes entirely new economic analyses that demonstrate the difficult economic environment faced by Ontario businesses and consumers in 2017. The report also contains exclusive economic information pertaining to London.

The report includes the results of the OCC’s new Business Confidence Survey conducted in partnership with Fresh Intelligence, a Business Prosperity Index developed by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), and an Economic Outlook for 2017 prepared by Central 1 Credit Union.

These datasets, viewed together, reveal broad challenges to Ontario’s economic health, according to the chamber.

“Our research shows that Ontario’s economic climate is posing challenges to the businesses we represent and Ontarians more broadly,” said Allan O’Dette, president and CEO of the OCC. “Investment is being held back because of a high perception of risk. We need immediate action in order for our province to continue to grow and prosper.”

Economic outlook data reveals that the unemployment rate in the London census metropolitan area (CMA) is expected to drop to 6.5 per cent (down from 7 per cent in 2016) and the median residential housing price will be $260,000, reflecting a 3.2 per cent increase over last year.

“The report shows that we are experiencing some signs of economic success in our region,” says London Chamber CEO, Gerry Macartney. “Collectively, however we are not doing as well as we think. Too many regulations, the high cost of electricity and a provincial debt that is ballooning out of control are acting as disincentives for investments and growth.”

Read full report here: