RBC expects Alberta’s GDP to grow by 3.8% in 2012, following Saskatchewan’s growth of 4.3%.
After Statistics Canada revised its preliminary real GDP estimates for 2010 because initial estimates “applied incorrect weights in compiling real GDP for industry and economy-wide aggregates," RBC reconsidered its predictions.
They expect the national GDP will increase in 2011 and 2012 by 3.2 and 3.1%, respectively. Saskatchewan will change the most in both years (4.9% and 4.3%), followed by Newfoundland & Labrador in 2011 and by Alberta in 2012.
Alberta’s employment will grow the most in the same year and, as usual, its inflation will be among the lowest in the country (2.0%). Housing starts are estimated to be the third highest, after Quebec and Ontario.
The predictions indicate that Alberta’s economy will remain strong and recover from the world crisis faster than other provinces. The main force behind the success is the energy industry. Oil prices are expected to rise to an average of US $81.45 per barrel, according to Economic Outlook, released by Finance Alberta. “On the back of these strong oil prices, investment has rebounded in Alberta in both oil sands and conventional oil,” it says. Robust investment and increasing oil exports will probably drive Alberta’s economic growth through the coming years. “There is a chance that North America could bounce back more quickly than is currently forecast, which would lead to more rapid growth in the Alberta economy,” says the Outlook.
The next provincial forecast update by RBC will be published in June. We hope the fires around Slave Lake won’t change these optimistic expectations for Alberta.