If you’re like most Albertans you’ve probably been feeling pretty pessimistic about our economy for the last few years. Thousands of people in the oil field have lost their jobs, the cost of gas has been attached to a yo-yo, and small business owners have struggled.
But at last week’s annual economic outlook meeting of Calgary Economic Development (CED), the reality of our many recent successes was made evident. Mayor Nenshi stated that although Alberta’s road to recovery has been slow we should celebrate our victories.
“I think we have been in a comeback since 2015,” Nenshi stated, citing the decline in unemployment from 10.3% in 2016 to just over 7% last month.
ATB Financial chief economist Todd Hirsch, who attended the CED meeting said, “We actually expect Calgary and Alberta’s economy to pick up a little bit of momentum in 2020. Two per cent growth is what we’re forecasting. That is still modest, but it is definitely an improvement over 2019.” And it’s in line with other forecasts.
Alan Arcand, associate director of municipal studies at the Conference Board of Canada, said in an interview, “We think there will be a pick up in economic activity in the province and in Calgary in 2020.” Arcand went on to say that people are still moving to Calgary and Alberta, which means people are still confident about living here. In fact, the Economist Intelligence Unit raked Calgary as the 5th most livable city in the world!
If you’ve been concerned about how recent political moves on the energy sector have impacted our economy, you’ll be glad to hear that Albertans haven’t put all their eggs in one basket. Mary Moran, CED chief executive, stated that the economy is diversifying and expanding into areas like technology, transportation, and agriculture.
There are still several challenges facing the city and the province, but it is encouraging to see that progress and growth have begun! As the economy continues to strengthen homeowners will start to see home values increasing at a moderate and sustainable pace.