Alberta to top province for economic growth

Oil to drive Alberta to top province for economic growth:3.8% forecast for next two years

CALGARY — Alberta will lead the country in economic growth this year and next year, according to a report released Wednesday by Scotia Economics.

The report says real GDP growth in the province will be 4.2 per cent this year, the highest in the nation, followed by 3.3 per cent growth in 2012, which will tie Saskatchewan as the highest in the country.

Scotia Economics is forecasting Canadian economic growth of 2.7 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent in 2012.

Alberta will once again lead Western Canada’s outperformance, with growth averaging nearly 3.8 per cent in 2011-12,” says the report. “Heavy oil output is being ramped up, with further investment and construction activity underpinning a multi-year period of solid growth.

“The manufacturing and service sectors will experience a positive spillover as physical and human capital are added to support the expansion. However, rising construction and labour expenses will also weigh on business costs, and may pressure capacity towards the end of the forecast period.”

The report says the oil sector will continue to be Alberta’s growth engine with significant investment and output gains contributing to the increased momentum. Total crude oil output is projected to expand by nearly 30 per cent from current levels by 2012, bringing total production to 50 per cent above 1999 levels, it said.

“Alberta is expected to lead the country in job creation over the 2011-2012 period. The province lagged the national pickup in hiring earlier this year, but has been gaining momentum ever since. Alberta has one of the tightest labour markets in Canada, which is expected to put increasing pressure on wages,” says Scotia Economics.

Employment growth of 2.7 per cent this year and 1.8 per cent in 2012 is forecast for the province.

One Comment

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