OTTAWA, O.N. — The Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook: Autumn 2017 is forecasting that Alberta’s economy will lead the country in growth this year, but that B.C. will regain the top spot in 2018.
According to the report, Alberta’s economy is set to grow by a robust 6.7 percent this year. Several sectors came out of recession, but it was the swift pickup in drilling and solid oil production that led economic growth. But the booming growth is not expected to last, with Alberta’s economy forecast to grow at a more sustainable 2.1 percent in 2018. However, recent strength in oil prices could help maintain the momentum in drilling and push economic growth higher over the near term.
Our own province is forecast to see real GDP growth of 3.2 percent this year. And, while a slightly weaker growth of 2.7 percent is anticipated for 2018, B.C. will still outpace all other provinces in economic growth. One of the factors behind the slowdown next year is the cooling off in the housing sector. Meanwhile, the province’s forestry sector is expected to be either flat or negative over the next five years due to ongoing problems with the mountain pine beetle infestations and duties imposed by the U.S. on Canadian softwood lumber imports.