Report suggests Calgary and Edmonton leading economic growth

File: Alberta economy.
File: Alberta economy. Global News

A new report suggests Calgary is leading the country in economic growth in 2017, with Edmonton right behind.

The Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2017 suggests Calgary and Edmonton have seen the fastest economic growth in the country, with the two Alberta cities in the top three for 2018 as well. (See full report below).

READ MORE: Alberta clears recession, though challenges remain, according to ATB Financial 2018 economic outlook

Jane McIntyre, an economist with the CBOC, said the worst appears to be over for Calgary and Edmonton and the provincial economy is rebounding.

“This year we’re seeing very good growth in the Edmonton economy and expect economic output to rise by 3.9 per cent this year,” explained McIntyre. Edmonton’s GDP is expected to slow to 2.2 per cent in 2018, however.

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“Employment, which was flat in 2016, a small change up by 0.4 but strengthening into 2018 with 1.2 per cent growth,” explained McIntyre.

READ MORE: Alberta economy rebounding, but deficit will remain, CBOC says

However, she says economic growth is forecast to slow to 2.2 per cent in 2018.

McIntyre adds unemployment was flat in 2016 but will strengthen to 1.2 per cent growth in 2018.

“The unemployment rate, which will continue to rise through 2017, as with a weak employment but by next year we should see a decline in the unemployment rate as well,” McIntyre said. “Down from 8.2 per cent his year to 7.4 per cent next year.”

READ MORE: Alberta is still losing job seekers to other parts of Canada

McIntyre said drilling and oil production increases are fuelling economic growth in Alberta’s two largest cities but oil remains around US$50 per barrel and 2018 will see more moderate growth.

The CBOC report also suggests builders are returning to Edmonton’s housing market, which is raising starts in 2017 and is expected to fall again next year.

The report also shows disposable income gains, which could translate to higher consumer spending and more growth in retail trade.

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