Economic growth projected for Saskatchewan in 2017

Economic growth projected for Saskatchewan in 2017

ASHLEY MARTIN, REGINA LEADER-POST, REGINA LEADER~POST  02.24.2017

 

The Conference Board of Canada is predicting Saskatchewan’s economy will “be back in the black” in 2017.

That’s good news for Minister of Energy and Resources Dustin Duncan.

“These are positive signs,” said Duncan. “But we still are trying to find a way to fill basically $1.2 billion in resource revenue evaporated in a couple of years, so it’s not going to be overnight that those numbers return to where they were.”

The report from the Ottawa-based not-for-profit think tank forecasts Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2017 at 0.9 per cent, as the oil industry turns around.

The oil rebound will most help Alberta, which is projected to have the strongest growth among the provinces at 2.8 per cent — 0.4 per cent due to continued rebuilding in Fort McMurray.

Alberta’s economy has been more heavily impacted by the oil decline, though: Its GDP dropped four per cent in 2015; Saskatchewan’s dropped 1.4 per cent.

Although GDP numbers for 2016 are not yet available, last year’s CBOC winter report projected Saskatchewan’s GDP would grow 0.7 per cent, while Alberta’s would shrink 1.1 per cent.

Oil will not be a godsend for years to come, according to Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director of the CBOC Provincial Forecast.

“We expect more subdued economic growth next year as oil prices are not expected to increase very much,” Bernard said in a statement.

But Duncan foresees good things to come, as he said several companies have already made major investment announcements, including Crescent Point Energy, which will spend 80 per cent of its $1.1-billion capital investment in this province.

But he remains concerned about a federally imposed carbon tax.

“We are largely a resource-based economy, and a carbon-intense economy, so we’re still concerned about that,” he said.

CBOC predicts Saskatchewan will still be challenged by global prices of potash and uranium.

Duncan said the government will continue to work to try to expand markets and increase sales of both potash and uranium.

CBOC reports a net 1,804 jobs will be created this year, “but it will not be enough to prop up disposable income.” Further, the “struggling retail sector” will not find relief as a result, since household spending will be modest.

Duncan said Saskatchewan’s retail and manufacturing jobs have “led the country.”

Saskatchewan’s projected growth outranks only Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The latter economy is the only one expected to shrink, with unemployment projected to rise to 15.5 per cent.

Manitoba can expect 1.9-per-cent growth, with strong manufacturing, transportation and insurance sectors.

 

 

About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on February 24, 2017, in economic impact, political. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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