Economic Trends (Monthly)

These documents contain timely analysis of current trends in Alberta’s economy, released each month. The “InFocus” section of each issue covers a relevant economic topic in more depth. The Economic Trends is published monthly.

Latest Economic Trends (March 2018)

PDF format  March 2018 Economic Trends: Highlights from Economic Outlook, Budget 2018 (complete report - posted March 29, 2018)

Highlights: Economy Enters Second Year of Recovery

The rebound in Alberta’s economy surpassed expectations in 2017. Real GDP grew an estimated 4.5% following a deep two-year recession. The resurgence was broad-based, with nearly every sector expanding.

Building off the surge in activity in 2017, the economy is forecast to expand at a solid rate of 2.7% in 2018. Exports will continue to drive growth, as oil sands output ramps up and production begins at the Sturgeon Refinery. The substantial improvement in the labour market at the end of 2017 is expected to carry through into the new year and boost housing and consumer spending. However, the recovery in business investment will lag the broader economic recovery due to the lingering impacts of the oil price shock.

As the economy moves from recovery into expansion (Chart 1), growth will be driven less by exports and more by investment. Non-residential investment will start to pick up in 2019. Until pipelines are built, market access challenges are likely to restrain upstream oil and gas investment. However, downstream investment in petrochemical facilities and partial upgraders will help support real GDP growth of around 2.5% from 2019 to 2021. Households, too, will contribute to the expansion, with spending supported by rising incomes and solid population growth of about 1.5% per year.

Chart: Economy moves from recovery to expansion

Alberta Real GDP
Chart: Economy moves from recovery to expansion: Alberta Real GDP. Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance.
Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, e-estimate, f-forecast

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Economic Trends Archive

These documents were published beginning in 2012.

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Economic Spotlights

These newsletters focuses on a particular theme related to the Alberta economy and are published occasionally.

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Page last updated:  March 29, 2018