‘The worst is in the rear view mirror’: TD says Alberta will lead GDP growth in 2017 and 2018

Alberta’s economy — in a tailspin since the 2014 crash in oil prices and the Fort McMurray fires earlier this year — will lead the country in GDP growth in 2017 and 2018, Toronto-Dominion Bank predicts.

“The good news for Alberta is that the worst is in the rear-view mirror,” says a new report from TD Economics.

“With oil production having been restored by July, and reconstruction efforts having already begun, the second half of the year promises to be better.”

The report predicts that oil-related investments will “stabilize” next year with a gradual increase in oil prices to a point above $50 US a barrel.

Alberta’s GDP growth should top two per cent in 2017 and 2018, according to the forecast, which would be the highest of all provinces in both years.

GDP growth 2017 18 TD Economics

TD Economics says Alberta will lead the country in GDP growth in 2017 and 2018, with rates above two per cent each year. (TD Economics/Screenshot)

But even that level of growth would mark only “a muted rebound compared to past experiences, and will barely bring the level of GDP back to that recorded in 2014,” the report cautions.

“While certainly an improvement, the pace of growth is only about half that recorded coming out of the previous recession and economic activity will still fall short of 2014 levels,” it says.

The country-leading growth pace for Alberta is also attributable to slowdowns foreseen for other provinces.

The report anticipates that cooling housing markets in B.C. and Ontario will take some steam out those economies, while the “several headwinds” facing Newfoundland and Labrador will delay the recovery in that oil-producing province.

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