HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is doomed to endure an extended period of decline unless population and economic trends are reversed, says a report on economic development released Wednesday.

The report, written by a five-member panel led by Acadia University president Ray Ivany, says the province's economy is barely able to support its standard of living.

"The evidence is clear," Ivany said in a statement. "Nova Scotia hovers on the brink of an extended period of decline."

But Ivany said there is also reason to be optimistic, pointing to the province's strong entrepreneurial class.

"There is a profound need for Nova Scotians to come together around a shared vision for a better future. We are not doomed to permanent have-not status. We have more than sufficient assets, resources and capabilities to turn things around in Nova Scotia."

The report, called "Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action," came up with 12 strategies including expanded immigration, enhanced research and development and revitalization of traditional rural industries.

The commission was created by the NDP government in the fall of 2012. It involved 35 public meetings and also sought input through social media.