indicatorThe Twenty-Four

Weathering the storm

Alberta’s economy in 2024

By Mark Parsons, ATB Economics 20 March 2024 1 min read

Despite facing inflation and interest rate headwinds, Alberta's economy continues to forge ahead and remain a growth leader in Canada. This resiliency is the result of a surge in population, energy sector activity, and growth in emerging sectors.

Released today, our latest quarterly Alberta Economic Outlook sees Alberta’s GDP growth once again outpacing the national average.

Alberta’s real GDP is projected to grow by 2.3% this year, a slight moderation from 2.5% last year but more than double the growth rate expected for the country as a whole.

Not in the clear - The inflation threat has mostly receded, with interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada expected around mid-year, but higher borrowing costs are intensifying financial strains, leading to increased insolvencies and tempering both consumer spending and business investment.

Tailwinds - In 2024, significant improvements in oil exports are expected as the Trans Mountain Expansion comes online. Housing construction, gaining momentum from late 2023, will surge further this year due to soaring demand fueled by strong population growth. Moreover, growth is expected in a number of sectors including hydrogen, biofuels, petrochemicals, carbon capture and storage, high-tech, aviation, and tourism.

Foggy conditions - Amidst heightened uncertainty, events like the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, China's unsteady economy, and upcoming elections in the U.S. and other countries contribute to an unpredictable global landscape.

It’s been a long road, but Alberta’s economy is now in expansion mode. The province finally recovered lost output from the 2015-16 and 2020 recessions in 2022. On a per capita basis, however, real GDP is not expected to recover over the forecast period.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears is sometimes used to explain the 2% inflation target as “not too high, not too low, but just right.”

Today’s trivia question: What is a “sea can” otherwise known as?

The national inflation rate eased from 2.9% in January to 2.8% in February 2024

The national inflation rate eased from 2.9% in January to 2.8% in February 2024

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