Calgary

Strong oil, wheat prices buoy Alberta economy

A new survey suggests that happy days are here again for Alberta's economy with crude oil and grains poised to be the hottest commodities in the coming year.

A new survey suggests happy days are here again for Alberta's economy with crude oil and grains poised to be the hottest commodities in the coming year.  

According to the report by Barclays Capital, investors are increasingly bullish on both oil and grain, with prices for both viewed as likely to continue to rise amid geopolitical uncertainty and weather challenges around the world.

"The fact of it is agriculture is a good news story today," said Richard Phillips, the head of the Grain Growers of Canada.  

Prices for crops such as wheat are soaring — good news for farmers and for the entire farming industry, he said.

"I think the whole pie is growing so there is room for everyone now without having to fight over the pieces as we would have in the past," he said.

The survey of investors also found the same growing confidence about oil prices.  

"Whether you are looking at oil or wheat — both significant economies and a very significant aspect of our national economy and attracting global investment," said Travis Davies, who speaks for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

According to Phillips, farmers in Alberta, who have so often struggled to make ends meet, are doing much better now.

"When my phone is ringing with farmers calling in these days it's not about government safety nets or needing help. I don't receive those calls. The phone has been quiet on that for a couple of years now," he said.

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