ATB Financial says province’s economy slowing significantly, job losses likely

The chief economist of Alberta’s Crown-owned financial institution says the province’s economy is slowing significantly due to slumping oil prices.

CALGARY — The chief economist of Alberta’s Crown-owned financial institution says the province’s economy is slowing significantly due to slumping oil prices.

Todd Hirsch of ATB Financial says that will likely mean job losses and curtailed investment in the energy sector.

He says housing starts remain stable, but the residential real estate market is soft, which suggests construction activity will cool.

Hirsch says people are still moving to Alberta, but in lower numbers.

He says the biggest change since ATB’s forecast in January is that energy prices aren’t expected to stabilize and start to gradually rise until late summer and the fall.

Hirsch says on the bright side agriculture, forestry and tourism are benefiting from lower fuel prices and the lower Canadian dollar.

“While it will be a challenging year, Albertans shouldn’t panic,” Hirsch said Tuesday in a release. “It will by no means be the worst economic year in recent history.”

Hirsch is forecasting economic growth this year to be 0.8 per cent and unemployment to rise to six per cent.

He predicts an average U.S. oil price of between $50-60 per barrel by the end of the year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta declares 69 COVID-19 cases Sunday, provincial total at 1,250

Alberta confirmed 69 cases of COVID-19 Sunday bringing the provincial total to… Continue reading

COVID-19 case reported at supermarket in Wetaskiwin

Sobeys will not release names to protect employees

WATCH: Red Deer emergency call centre hours change starting next week

Hours at the City of Red Deer’s COVID-19 emergency call centre will… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Boeing to continue production shutdown due to coronavirus

Company is extending its planned two-week shutdown

Actress-activist Shirley Douglas, daughter of medicare’s Tommy Douglas, dies

‘Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time’

Canada looking to disinfect used masks, Tam asks they not be thrown away

Best defence against COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible, wash their hands frequently

With workers at home, feds eye ways to fast-track training program, groups say

How to help workers stuck at home or out of work to prevent their skills from becoming

Hajdu brings anthropology, public health experience to COVID-19 fight

“There’s a piece of me that’s still an anthropologist at heart, if you will”

Spring cleaning can’t be avoided

It’s the perfect time for spring cleaning now that we are confined… Continue reading

Most Read