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Not Yet Out of the Woods—Slowing Global Growth to Weigh on Provincial Economies

Ottawa, August 21 – The economy got off to a poor start in 2019 as the trade sector took a toll on economic growth. While labour markets are improving, it’s difficult for economists to ignore lingering obstacles felt in Canada's west. The  Provincial Outlook Executive Summary: Summer 2019 provides a first look into 2020’s economic challenges.

“While economic prospects are picking up, not all provinces face the same realities. Bottlenecks in oil transportation continue to weigh on energy investment, leading us to forecast a mild recession in Alberta this year.” Said Pedro Antunes, Chief Economist at the Conference Board of Canada. “The outlook for 2020 is positive for most provinces but risks are abnormally high—Brexit, protectionism and trade tensions between Washington and Beijing will almost certainly take a toll on global growth next year.”

[Some of] the report’s key findings:

• Prospects for the Alberta and Saskatchewan economies are weak this year; they will be facing a contraction in overall real GDP growth.

• In British Columbia, the economic outlook is more positive, yet still moderate, as investment from public projects and LNG Canada compensates for the correction in the resale housing market.

• Quebec’s economic growth will be one of the strongest in the country this year but will quickly fade in the next few years. Economic prospects are modest for Ontario.

• The increasing labour force is benefiting, and raising, growth prospects in three of the Atlantic provinces. However, Newfoundland and Labrador will not enjoy the boost, although stronger oil production will strengthen real economic growth in the near term.



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