A new report from Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority’s (SREDA) is forecasting a modest uptick in Saskatchewan’s economy.
In its outlook summary released on Jan. 24, SREDA projects GDP (gross domestic product) growth for the province of 1.6 per cent in 2019 and 1.8 per cent in 2020, up from 1.2 per cent in 2018.
SREDA president and CEO Alex Fallon said it’s modest growth, but it’s growth nevertheless and we should remember how fortunate we are to have signs of growth out there.
“What the numbers are saying is it could be worse, absolutely. When we look at other provinces Saskatchewan’s doing fairly well, so it could always be worse. Yes, it could be a lot better, but we’re still forecasting growth,” Fallon said.
“SREDA has taken a close look at all the different economic indicators out there and come up with a forecast on how the Saskatchewan economy is going to do … and the numbers we’re seeing are decent.”
SREDA’s forecast is based on a positive outlook in the potash sector, helping to balance downturns in other commodities. Likewise, continued gains are expected in crop production.
Employment growth is expected to remain limited in 2019, with unemployment rates remaining close to six per cent.
Saskatchewan’ forecasted growth is hampered by the sharp drop in oil prices. Similarly, uranium prices and demand has not recovered since production was halted at the McArther River mine.
Fallon is confident the province’s economy will continue to adjust and remain competitive.
“The Saskatchewan economy continues to adjust to depressed commodity prices. Weakness in oil and uranium markets is limiting GDP growth,” Fallon said.
“We are remaining competitive through our diverse economy and strength in industries like potash, agriculture, technology, science and innovation, and continued population growth.”
SREDA’s economic outlook summary is created by averaging the real GDP forecasts from five independent firms: TD Canada Trust, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, and the Conference Board of Canada.