|ATB Financial's Economics & Research Team||November 20, 2017|
Alberta posts strong real GDP growth, still challenged by unemployment: ATB’s Alberta Economic Outlook
Alberta’s economy is gaining momentum, with oil and gas, agriculture, food processing, tourism, retail and manufacturing all experiencing growth. Still, challenges remain, with unemployment being the most significant hurdle for Albertans as we head into 2018.
Today, ATB Financial is releasing its latest Alberta Economic Outlook, providing insight into what has happened this year and what may happen in the months ahead.
The four per cent economic growth in 2017 is largely due to a resurgence of Alberta's energy sector and the resilience of the province’s retail and housing sectors.
Housing and retail have also shown strength in 2017 and have supported growth as well. The pace of housing starts have been a pleasant surprise and our province’s retail sales numbers show that consumers have faith in the economy.
While growth is returning, it may not feel that way for many Albertans as we continue to struggle with an unemployment rate of nearly eight per cent. Employers will likely remain hesitant to hire which will keep the unemployment rate above seven per cent into 2018.ATB Financial’s economics team is forecasting real GDP growth of 3.9 per cent in 2017, to be followed by growth of 2.7 and 2.2 per cent in 2018 and 2019, respectively.