Join Alan Arcand, Associate Director of the Conference Board’s Centre for Municipal Studies, for this 60-minute session covering the macroeconomic fundamentals—commodity prices, energy demand, exchange rates, housing markets and consumer trends.
The energy outlook: The worst appears to be over for the oil sector. Although energy investment in Alberta is expected to remain sluggish this year, oil production is set to rise.
Infrastructure: The federal and provincial governments are spending billions of dollars on infrastructure projects to try to jump-start the economy, with Alberta’s program anticipated to peak in 2017.
Housing demand: In line with the struggling economy, demand fell steadily over the past couple of years in both cities. Edmonton homebuilders will remain on the sidelines until inventories of new and unsold homes become more manageable.
Employment: Calgary posted its first decline in employment in six years in 2016, but job growth has resumed this year. Edmonton’s public sector has been key to keeping employment up in the capital. But it is expected to grow more slowly this year and next as the private sector takes over the growth reins.
Alan Arcand oversees the Centre’s forecasts of 28 Canadian census metropolitan areas. He also manages many of the group’s contract research projects, which include conducting studies that measure the fiscal capacity of cities, economic impact analyses, and medium and long-term economic forecasts.
Alan obtained his M.A. in economics from Queen’s University and his B.A. in international relations from the University of Windsor. He has been with the Conference Board since 2000.
About the Centre for Municipal Studies
Since 1997, The Centre for Municipal Studies has produced quarterly forecast for Canada’s Census Metropolitan Areas. In recent years, the Centre has expanded beyond its days as an economic forecasting group. While keeping a strong economic component, the Centre now encompasses all the socio-economic factors necessary to enable a city to become dynamic, prosperous and attractive to new business opportunities and a skilled workforce.