Rosy outlook forecast for Alberta

ATB Financial has issued a rosy economic outlook for Alberta.

ATB Financial has issued a rosy economic outlook for Alberta.

In its second-quarter forecast, issued on Tuesday, the financial institution projected that the province will lead its counterparts with real GDP expansion of 3.8 per cent this year.

“Alberta is bucking the sluggishness of the national economy,” said Todd Hirsch, ATB’s chief economist. “Momentum is expected to pick up modestly in 2014, led by a strong labour market, consumer confidence, in-migration, and decent results in the energy sector.”

The ATB forecast predicted “acceptable price ranges for crude oil and improving prices for natural gas,” with investment in conventional and non-conventional energy to remain stable and strong.

Energy transportation is a key issue, with ongoing delays by the White House on the Keystone XL pipeline keeping a cloud of uncertainty over the industry, it said. But there is a growing confidence that pipeline capacity will eventually increase, added ATB.

In the case of agriculture, if grain backlogs are addressed and this year produces an average crop, farmers should again be strong contributors to growth in 2014, said the forecast.

ATB noted that the migration of people into the province remains strong, with the net influx of 43,161 people into Alberta last year close to the 2006 record. This will impact the labour market, retail sales and the housing sector.

Globally, the economy continues to stabilize and show better economic results, said ATB. But it cited new worries, including tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month