February 28, 2018 3:58 pm
Updated: February 28, 2018 4:06 pm

Alberta’s economy to grow 2.8% in 2018, Conference Board says

A report by the Conference Board of Canada released Wednesday said Alberta's economy is expected to grow in 2018.

A report by the Conference Board of Canada released Wednesday said Alberta's economy is expected to grow in 2018.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
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Alberta’s economy will grow 2.8 per cent this year according to a forecast released Wednesday by the Conference Board of Canada.

Alberta will join B.C., Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador as the fastest growing provincial economies in 2018, the report said.

Employment in Alberta is expected to grow by 1.7 per cent, as the unemployment rate will drop to about six per cent, the report said.

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The report credits the economic growth to the completion of oil sands construction projects.

READ MORE: Focus on growth, stop dwelling on recession mentality: Alberta economist

Investment in the province will continue to be modest while oil drilling activity is expected to “improve or maintain last year’s level of activity,” the report added.

Leading the pack, however, is British Columbia: its economy will grow 3.1 per cent this year, led by a series of energy projects under construction, before retreating below three per cent in subsequent years.

Economic output will grow 2.8 per cent in Alberta and PEI, and 2.6 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Conference Board said.

Marie-Christine Bernard, director of provincial forecasting with the board, said they build these reports by looking at about 150 indicators.

Demand for housing and consumer demand for products in the province are some of those factors, she said.

From there, they build models with other data from Statistics Canada and other sources, she said.

She added that Albertans should not expect a return to the boom economy of yesteryear, as “[we are] not forecasting an investment boom for Alberta.”

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