Alberta’s two largest cities on the way to economic recovery
According to a new report, the economies of Calgary and Edmonton will be turning upwards, buoyed by rising oil prices through the year.
The information, published by the Conference Board of Canada, says that while energy investment will remain low, oil production will increase, meaning the worst is over for the industry.
The price of oil is expected to reach $60 US per barrel by the end of the year.
"Now that we've seen some modest rebound and improvement in that oil price to back around $50, that has gone a long way to stabilizing the petroleum sector but it's also gone a long way to raise consumer confidence and optimism," said Todd Hirsch, ATB Chief Economist.
Alan Arcand, associate director for Centre for Municipal Studies at the Conference Board of Canada says it will support growth in both areas.
According to data, Calgary’s economy will grow by 2.3 percent while Edmonton’s will enjoy a 2.4 percent boost.
The increase will be the city’s first in three years and will allow the economy to add 8,800 jobs in 2017 and an additional 10,100 jobs in 2018.
The unemployment rate in Calgary is projected to drop to 8.0 percent next year.
However, it’s not all good news as weak residential investment will mean a slow recovery in the construction sector and housing starts will drop to an eight-year-low of 9,000 units.
The rising oil production will help the manufacturing sector in Edmonton that would in turn help the energy industry.
The construction industry is expected to bounce back from two years of losses.
Edmonton will add about 5,700 new jobs, up from 170 in 2016.
The report also said that Toronto is the fastest-growing metropolitan economy this year at 2.7 percent.