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BMO's Doug Porter Named Top Economic Forecaster for Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 8, 2012) - BMO Capital Markets Deputy Chief Economist, Doug Porter, has been named the top economic forecaster for the Canadian economy over the past two years by Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg's overall ranking is a composite of rankings of six indicators: quarterly growth rates, monthly employment, consumer price data, retail sales, housing starts and international trade. Mr. Porter is also the only analyst to place in the top five of the last three rankings of Canadian forecasters published by Bloomberg, having placed second in December 2011 and fourth in January 2011.

Mr. Porter provided his latest thoughts on the outlook for the Canadian economy; he has reduced the GDP growth forecast for the first quarter of 2012 from 2.1 per cent to 1.7 per cent, while maintaining his estimate for all of 2012 at 2 per cent. "Our view is that the economy will disappoint somewhat over the spring, and Europe is going to get a little bit louder and a little bit worse."

As a result, Mr. Porter predicted that the Bank of Canada's next overnight-rate increase will come in the first quarter of 2013 and will be followed by three more increases to bring the rate to 2 percent by the end of that year.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Peter Scott, Toronto

Ronald Monet, Montreal

Laurie Grant, Vancouver