Alberta Economy – Booming Again?

Demand for Natural Resources Fueling Good Times for Alberta

A couple of new reports are suggesting the Alberta economy is growing and Albertans are optimistic, and even expecting continued growth this year. Reports also say that economic volatility will continue. 69 percent of Alberta respondents to an RBC report said the economy is good compared to 61 percent nationally. However, Albertans were also very optimistic about the Canadian economy, yet other provinces are not enjoying the natural resource growth that Alberta has. Respondents were less optimistic than they were last quarter about Canada’s economy pointing to their concerns over rising cost of living.

> 45% of Albertans expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next year
> 35% of Albertans say they would invest more to capitalize on rising interest rates
> 6% more Abertans have delayed a major purchase because of worries over the economy
> 24% of Albertans expect to spend more this year

Last month RBC issued a survey that forecasted a 4.3% improvement in Alberta’s GDP. Outlook for growth for 2012 is 3.8%. Unemployment is expected to fall to 5.8% and 5.5% in 2012 and to a low of 4.2 per cent in 2015.

RBC is forecasting nearly 50,000 net new jobs in 2011, the highest total since 2007.

Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist for RBC says “With China and other emerging economies driving global energy demand higher and crude oil supply facing disruptions in the Middle East, there will continue to be a strong focus on developing Alberta’s oilsands capacity,” said Wright. “This will allow certain investment megaprojects to move ahead and increase Alberta’s non-conventional crude oil production.”

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