Telecom industry only growing at 2.3% per year…

The Conference Board of Canada released its Autumn 2008 Canadian Industrial Outlook which states that Canada’s telecommunications industry is growing at its slowest pace in more than a decade – with an annual growth of about 2.3% over the next 5 years.

The decline is blamed on the “economic uncertainty”, new wireless entrants nd price competition.

Michael Burt, associate director for the Conference Board, said in an interview about the telecom sector “In the near term the economy is going to be the more pressing issue… sales growth will improve a little bit, but profitability is still going to be under pressure because of increased competition… we don’t expect to see mass layoffs,”

Burt continues to say “We’ve seen really strong productivity gains in recent years, The industry’s been able to increase sales without having to hire as many employees. We expect this productivity to continue, so with slower growth in sales, this means employment growth will be fairly weak for the industry in the near term. We do expect to see slowdowns in sales because people will cut back a little on the services that they’re demanding, but people will still want their phone. They will still want their Internet access.”

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