“ONE OF THE MOST VIBRANT ECONOMIES IN CANADA”
THE ROYAL BANK OF CANADA (RBC), SAID THE ALBERTA ECONOMY WILL CONTINUE ITS “IMPRESSIVE BOOM” THROUGH 2013, AFTER LEADING THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC GROWTH IN 2012.
RBC forecasts a provincial real GDP growth rate of three per cent due to strong crude oil production as well as high levels of capital investment, employment and population growth. RBC is predicting Alberta will lead the country in economic growth of 4.2 per cent in 2014.
In December, RBC forecast growth of 3.5 per cent this year for the province. The forecast for 2014 has remained the same.
“Alberta is unquestionably in the midst of an impressive economic boom – particularly with capital investment fuelling manufacturing and wholesalers’ sales. Attractive employment opportunities are also bringing new migrants to the province, boosting population growth and in turn, consumer spending,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist at RBC. “As the economy continues to thrive across the majority of key industries, Alberta will remain at the top-end of Canada’s economic growth rankings this year.”
Economic growth in the province in 2011 was 5.1 per cent followed by 3.5 per cent last year. The number of businesses in Alberta reached record-levels in 2012, with over 154,000 now having at least one employee. While 95.4% of businesses are small businesses, growth has especially been pronounced in the number of businesses with over 500 employees, with a 5-year growth rate of 20%. Alberta has the highest number of businesses per capita in Canada, with 39.4 businesses per 1000 people. The Greater Edmonton area remains Alberta's second largest growth region within the province.
According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, employment rose 55,500 in Alberta in 2012 or by 2.7% from 2011, the highest provincial growth rate. Most of the employment gains were recorded in the Edmonton and Calgary regions. Alberta’s unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 4.6%.