Healthy Growth of Alberta’s Economy to Continue in Q4

Edmonton – While growing tensions overseas have had a significant effect on economies around the world, Alberta will continue its healthy economic growth for the remainder of 2014 and beyond. This is the key finding of the ATB Financial Economics and Research Group in its latest Economic Outlook for Alberta.

ATB projects 3.7 per cent GDP growth in Alberta for the balance of 2014, virtually unchanged from its third quarter forecast.

“You have to look pretty hard to find any areas of pessimism in the province,” says Todd Hirsch, ATB’s Chief Economist.

“Alberta’s economy continues to be right in the sweet spot – growth is not too hot, not too cold. It’s healthy and balanced.”

Among ATB’s key findings for the Q4 Outlook:

– Alberta’s labour market to remain balanced with 4.7 per cent unemployment

– Stronger oil and natural gas prices will support continued investment in energy

– Housing starts are stable and residential real estate market appears to be balanced

– In-migration will continue to lead population growth

With a strong economy, however, come challenges. In Alberta, those challenges always seem to involve labour.

“The only broad concerns with the Alberta economy tend to be related to labour – specifically finding both skilled and lower-skilled labour,” says Hirsch.

“It’s a problem consistent with a strong labour market.”

ATB Forecast: Key Results

  • 3.7% – Expected growth for Alberta Economy this year
  • 4.7% – Expected unemployment rate in Alberta for 2014
  • 13,400 – Number of jobs lost in Alberta in August, 2014
  • 37,800 – Number of new jobs added in Alberta in last 12 months
  • $1,153 – Average weekly wage in Alberta in July, 2014
  • $940 – Average weekly wage in Canada in July, 2014
  • 13,204 – Number of Canadians who moved to Alberta in Q2
  • 38,717 – Number of Canadians who moved to Alberta in the last 12 months