Alberta economy faces continuing challenges

By The IJ Staff | September 10 2019 09:30AM

Insufficient pipeline capacity is posing a challenge for Alberta’s economy, says ATB Financial's Alberta Economic Outlook released Sept. 10.

The sluggish oil and gas sector is “dampening job creation, consumer spending and construction activity,” notes the ATB, which forecasts 0.8 per cent real GDP growth for Alberta in 2019 and 2.0 per cent in 2020.

The report says that “capital spending in the oil and gas sector remains soft as investors wait until there is more assurance that pipeline projects will be completed.”

The report also found that consumer spending is down and the unemployment rate is rising. During the first seven months of 2019 the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent.

"Alberta's economy is facing challenges from all sides—from the lack of pipeline capacity to trade wars—which is why ATB is forecasting marginal growth this year," said ATB's Chief Economist Todd Hirsch. "At the same time, we are forecasting growth of 2.0 per cent in 2020 assuming some of the transportation issues clogging up the oil patch will be resolved and investment in new production will increase."

To learn more, read the full report: ATB Financial Alberta Economic Outlook (September 2019).

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