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The Owl focuses on the day’s top economic news.

ATB Financial’s economics team interprets the latest statistics on wages, employment, inflation, the oil and gas industry and other economic drivers in our province.


USA still thirsty for Alberta's oil

Posted on: April 19, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

There are three main customers for Alberta’s oil: 1) Alberta refineries; 2) refineries in other parts of Canada; and 3) refineries in the US. While a significant amount of Alberta’s oil output stays within Canada (18 per cent in 2015), Statistics Canada data show that most of our production is exported to the US. Only a small amount (2,426 barrels per day in 2015) makes it to foreign customers other than the US.

One of the most significant changes in the global oil sector has been the steep rise in US production over the last few years. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US had been slowly but steadily falling since the mid-1980s but started going up in 2009. In less than a decade, the US added 4.1 million barrels per day to its output by using hydraulic fracturing technology to unlock its shale deposits. US crude production fell to 8.9 million barrels per day in 2016 as low prices curtailed shale drilling but it’s expected to reach 9.5 million barrels per day in 2018.

Fortunately for Alberta, the sudden surge in US output has not displaced imports of crude from our province. As of 2015, EIA data show that the US was importing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day more from Alberta than it was in 2009—an increase of 88 per cent. Over the same period, imports from OPEC fell by 1.7 million barrels per day for a drop of 39 per cent.

For more on Alberta’s oil reserves, production and exports, check out the latest edition of Perch, written by ATB's Economics and Research team.ab-oil-output-apr2017.png

Alberta Economic Outlook

ATB Financial’s Alberta Economic Outlook summarizes research on Alberta’s most important sectors, covering the first quarter of 2015. It analyzes the province’s economic happenings and outlines what may occur in the next quarter. Read the Outlooks below for the latest on our economy.

Q1 2015 | Q2 2015

Alberta’s GDP prone to large swings

Posted on: April 28, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
From craggy mountains to flat grasslands, seas of trees to the mysterious hoodoos, Alberta is a land of extremes. The same holds true for its economic growth.

Earnings continue their decline

Posted on: April 27, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
One way companies can adapt to tougher economic conditions is to lower their costs, including wages. Earnings of Alberta employees have been trending negatively for nearly two years.

Retail continues to show strength

Posted on: April 26, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
From car flags to hockey jerseys, playoff fever has had—and is still having—a profound effect on Alberta retailers. While the latest retail report doesn’t capture this month’s hockey frenzy, it does suggest continued strength in Alberta’s retail sector.

Oil sands output recovers from forest fire disruption

Posted on: April 25, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
Since Alberta’s oil sands operations are located in forested areas, the fires that raged through northern Alberta's forests in 2016 forced a significant shutdown of production.

Wholesale trade rises for fifth consecutive month

Posted on: April 24, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
A few indicators are suggesting Alberta’s economy is picking up steam. Labour market statistics and housing start numbers are among them, as well as wholesale activity.

Commercial construction spending in Edmonton and Calgary

Posted on: April 21, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
Hockey fans in Calgary and Edmonton may be experiencing different emotions—much more upbeat in the capital city today. But differences in hockey playoffs aside, Alberta’s two major cities have much more in common these days...

Adapting to the post-recession economy

Posted on: April 20, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
As Albertans, we are all aware of the economic clouds that have been hanging over our province for the last two years.

 

Perch

Each Perch focuses on a topic that’s important to Alberta​ns.

In this edition, we did a survey to understand how much Albertans intend to spend over the holidays and if they are planning to travel. It’s important to know what to expect because the surge in spending that takes place ahead of Christmas is often critical to a retailer’s survival.

So sit back and enjoy. ​


Read Perch now

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The Economic Team​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ (Left to right: Nick Ford, Todd Hirsch and Rob Roach)

Our Economics Team​​​

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Todd Hirsch

Chief Economist

Todd Hirsch is the Chief Economist at ATB Financial. At ATB, Todd spends the bulk of his time sharing the story of Alberta’s economy in clear-eyed and energetic talks across the province and the rest of the country.

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Nick Ford

Economist

Nick Ford is an Economist at ATB Financial. Nick joined ATB’s Economics and Research team in February 2014 where he researches, tracks and reports on economic indicators and trends that impact Albertans.

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Rob Roach

Director of Insight

As a Director of Insight with ATB Financial’s Economics and Research team, Rob examines the economic and social forces that affect Albertans’ quality of life.

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ATB’s Extended Reports​

Tightening Santa's belt

Holiday spending and travel intentions (December 2016)

Read the report.

Preparing for success

Post-secondary education in Alberta (September 2016)

Read the report.

Selling our wares

Alberta's international exports (May 2016)

Read the report.

Happiness in Alberta

The full results of ATB Financial’s Alberta Happiness Survey (June 2015)

Read the report.

Hanging out your shingle

Self-employment in Alberta (November 2015)

Read the report.

People power

Population trends in Alberta (March 2016)

Read the report.

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