indicatorThe Owl

Alberta economy still reeling from double whammy

These numbers indicate that Alberta has a deeper economic hole to climb out of than the other provinces

By ATB Economics 13 May 2021 1 min read

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.

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 a nadir of 55.2 in May 2020—the lowest level in the country.

Activity in the province bounced back, but the index was sitting at only 75.0 as of January and was still the lowest level in the country. 

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 and this will take time to accomplish.

On the bright side, Alberta’s strong economic foundation and the resurgence of the energy sector bode well and will help the recovery process.

Answer to the previous trivia question: On the TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies,” the Clampett family moves from The Ozarks to California after finding oil on their land.

Today’s trivia question: How many of Canada’s 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in Alberta?

Alberta's economic activity index was sitting at 75.0 as of January 2021

Alberta's economic activity index was sitting at 75.0 as of January 2021


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