Conference Board suggests slight increase in economic growth for Sask. in 2020

An economy report by the Conference Board of Canada predicts Saskatchewan will experience a slight rebound in economic growth after going through a mild recession.

Alicia Macdonald, associate director of economic forecasting at the Conference Board, explained how Saskatchewan’s economic outlook has been impacted by a slow down in mining productivity and a falloff from conventional drilling and changing prices in the oil and gas sector.

But she believes a mild rebound is on the horizon in the new year.

She explains how their report shows a slight uptick in Canadian economic growth in 2020, but it’s driven by better energy investment prospects.

“When we take that factor and put it through a provincial lens, that improvement is only really benefiting B.C. and Alberta. Looking at other provinces, many of them are expecting to see a moderation in economic growth,” said Macdonald.

She talked about how agriculture has taken a big hit over the last couple years, too.

Macdonald initially felt the industry would receive help in the new year – before the CN strike occurred.

“Farm incomes in the province have contracted and one of the reasons we do expect a bit of a rebound next year is because we’re expecting some of those farm income losses to be recouped in 2020,” she shared. “This recent strike is probably going to weigh a bit on that projection.”

However a change in philosophies in the mining sector and better income growth could assist in stimulating the province’s economy.

When taking a look at Saskatchewan’s household sector, Macdonald sees consumption has lagged since 2013 in the province. She believes this has resulted in a pent up demand for goods and services.

As income growths improve going into 2020, she expects those delayed purchases will occur.

The economic outlook indicates that it will be a Western Canada story next year pushing economic growth in the country. Saskatchewan will see an economic growth of one per cent.

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