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Analysts expect rebound in Alberta economy next year
While many are weathering a muted Christmas season, industry analysts are looking to 2016 as a better year for oil, and Alberta’s economy.
Kim Dowson says her family has been trying to make ends meet for a while now since her husband was laid off just last week with no notice and no final paycheque.
She says he’s left the province for work so the family can have an easier time at Christmas.
“Thank God we know the people that we know, because we’ve had great support from them. They’ve bought our daughter the stuff she wanted for Christmas and I had to go to the Food Bank on Friday.”
More and more signs of the slumping Alberta economy are being spotted, with new car sales down by 11 percent, dropping to the worst rate across the country.
However, economists think that could just be, in part, reticence of buyers.
“People do sit on their hands a little bit when there’s uncertainty, even if they themselves haven’t lost their job,” says Michael Hatch, chief economist with the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association. “When there’s uncertainty across the economy, as there has been in Alberta this year, a lot of people just hold on and wait longer than they would to make that big purchase.”
On Tuesday, Alberta’s Finance Minister Joe Ceci said the government would likely slow down its spending plan in the face of the slumping economy.
He also said other initiatives may end up being eliminated altogether.
There are some signs that economy could be recovering, as home sales and listing are on the rise.
While the Conference Board of Canada says we are still well under 2014’s figures, listings are up 10 percent month over month and sales are up 1.3 percent.
Analysts also say that things could be looking up for oil as well, with estimates putting prices back in the $50 per barrel range.
Meanwhile, Dowson says that she’s been doing her part by babysitting to help the family stay afloat.
She’s also grateful for the generosity of others. “I’m used to helping other people and sharing what I can, but when the tables get turned, it makes you feel really bad because we have to figure out how to provide for our family.”