Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price crash, says ATB Financial.
“After the brutal provincial recession of 2015-16 and the near-recession of 2019, 2020 was poised to be a turnaround year for Alberta. The pandemic prevented this and the economic pain was exacerbated by the oil price crash and subsequent production cuts,” ATB Financial said.
“The combined impact of this ‘double whammy’ on Alberta is evident in new experimental measures of economic activity levels from Statistics Canada.”
Using February 2020 as the starting point and setting its economic activity level at 100, the pandemic and oil price crash pushed the index down to 55.2 in May 2020.
Activity in the province bounced back, but the index was still sitting at only 75 as of January.
“The recording-breaking 8.2 per cent drop in Alberta’s real GDP in 2020 we reported on last week is another measure of how hard the province was hit by the one-two punch of the pandemic and oil price crash.”
These numbers indicate that we have a deeper economic hole to climb out of than the other provinces, which will take time to accomplish, said ATB Financial.
“On the bright side, Alberta’s strong economic foundation and the resurgence of the energy sector bode well and will help the recovery process.”