Alberta's economy to grow at blistering 6.7% pace this year, says Conference Board of Canada
Province has 'surged out of recession' with rising oil production and increased drilling activity
Alberta's economy is on pace to grow by a blistering 6.7 per cent this year, far outpacing every other province, according to the latest forecast from the Conference Board of Canada.
"Thanks to rising oil production and a swift turnaround in drilling levels, Alberta surged out of recession this year," Marie-Christine Bernard, director of the organization's provincial forecasting, said in a release Wednesday.
The report comes two days after a projection from ATB Financial that pegs real GDP growth at 3.9 per cent in Alberta for 2017, "which is likely to be the highest among the Canadian provinces."
The Conference Board, meanwhile, points to numerous signs that Alberta's economy is growing even faster than that.
"The domestic economy also performed well, as consumers who had delayed making major purchases during the recession flocked to car dealerships and retail stores," the report reads.
"With oil prices steadily improving since the summer, Alberta's economic performance could well surprise on the upside once more."
The "booming growth" in 2017 comes after two years of economic contraction, and the Conference Board cautions that Alberta won't keep up that pace next year.
It forecasts provincial GDP to grow by 2.1 per cent in 2018, behind British Columbia's projected rate of 2.7 per cent and Newfoundland and Labrador's 2.4 per cent.
"However, recent strength in oil prices could help maintain the momentum in drilling and push economic growth higher over the near term," the report adds.