Saskatchewan growth to slow to 1.5% in 2014
28 Nov 2014
Sask. growth to slow to 1.5% in 2014
From page A1 Saskatchewan’s economic growth is expected to reach just 1.5 per cent this year, after posting a 5.0 per cent increase in 2013 boosted by a record-breaking crop, according to the Conference Board of Canada.
The province’s economic performance — ranked seventh among the 10 provinces in 2014 — is “in contrast to the robust growth of the early part of this decade,’’ said the Conference Board’s provincial outlook released Thursday.
“While the Saskatchewan economy remains on solid ground, lower yields in the agriculture sector and more temperate gains in the oil industry will cap Saskatchewan’s growth prospects for the near term.”
Fortunately, uranium and potash mining will be “bright spots’’ for the provincial economy during the next two years, the report said.
“Gains in metal mining and potash production will help overall real GDP advance by 2.4 per cent in 2015, although the forecast is muted by lower yields in the agriculture sector and more temperate gains in the oil industry.”
The Ottawa-based economic forecaster said production at the Cameco Corp. Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan will ramp up as Japan’s nuclear reactors come back on stream in 2015 and demand grows from China and other emerging markets. Potash mining is also expected to rebound in 2015 after the collapse of the Russia-Belarus potash cartel in 2013 caused prices and production to plummet.
Manufacturing will also show steady growth over the next two years, but construction will slow down in 2016 after posting healthy 3.2 per cent growth in 2015. The fall-off in construction activity will dampen the performance of the province’s goods producing sector in 2016, the report said.
Employment is forecast to increase 1.6 per cent in 2015 and 1.2 per cent in 2016.
Unemployment will continue to hover in the four per cent range, which ensures that Saskatchewan will boast the lowest jobless rate in Canada in 2015-16, the report added.