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ATB Financial Projects Alberta’s Real GDP Will Grow By 4.1% This Year

An Alberta financial institution is projecting that the provincial economy could be in a better position by 2023 than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

ATB Financial released its latest economic outlook for Alberta. The financial service provider said it forecasts the province’s real GDP will grow by approximately 4.1 per cent this year and then by 2.6 per cent in 2022.

However, the outlook notes that growth hinges on two significant expectations: “that Canada will be through the worst of the pandemic by the fall and that global demand for oil will continue to grow with OPEC limits on supply.”

“The industries we’re seeing a lot of growth in include retail and trade, warehousing and distribution, manufacturing and construction, finance, insurance as well as food services.”

ATB said the oil sector has been buoyed by a rise in prices and noted oil production returned to pre-pandemic levels late last year. The financial institution said it is forecasting oil prices for 2021 to be at US$51 per barrel.

“We think that the number of wells being drilled in the province will go up by 10 per cent, and (there is) a general sense that this year will be better than last year,” said Tim McMillan of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

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