Conference Board outlook paints bleak picture for Alberta in 2015

CALGARY — Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s assertion that there’s been no recession in Canada this year is of little solace in Alberta.

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada paints a bleak economic picture of the oil-producing province, which has been hit hard by a halving in crude prices.

The think-tank says low oil prices are severely hampering the province’s economy and expects a one per cent contraction in real gross domestic product this year.

It foresees the rough times persisting for the remainder of 2015 as oilpatch layoffs hit home and new home building stalls, but says next year should be better.

It forecasts a provincial unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent in 2015, worse than 4.7 per cent in 2014.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist at Alberta-owned bank ATB Financial, said earlier this week that he’s predicting a modest recession this year, with a return to growth in 2016.

Follow @LaurenKrugel on Twitter

The Canadian Press

CALGARY — Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s assertion that there’s been no recession in Canada this year is of little solace in Alberta.

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada paints a bleak economic picture of the oil-producing province, which has been hit hard by a halving in crude prices.

The think-tank says low oil prices are severely hampering the province’s economy and expects a one per cent contraction in real gross domestic product this year.

It foresees the rough times persisting for the remainder of 2015 as oilpatch layoffs hit home and new home building stalls, but says next year should be better.

It forecasts a provincial unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent in 2015, worse than 4.7 per cent in 2014.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist at Alberta-owned bank ATB Financial, said earlier this week that he’s predicting a modest recession this year, with a return to growth in 2016.

Follow @LaurenKrugel on Twitter

The Canadian Press

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