Alberta is poised to have the strongest economic growth in 2017 mainly due to fast-rising oil production, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook: Winter 2017. Former leaders, British Columbia and Ontario, will see the pace of economic growth ease this year, but they will still deliver a solid performance. The Board projects Alberta will lead the country in terms of real GDP growth in 2017, which is forecast at 2.8 per cent.
Contributing to the province’s growth is a more stable outlook for the energy sector following the recent OPEC agreement to cut oil production, which will allow oil prices to average almost US$60 a barrel for the West Texas Intermediate by the end of 2018. Although investment in the energy sector will not be increasing at a fast pace, total exports are expected to increase this year due to robust oil production gains as new oil sands projects come online. Another positive development for Alberta down the road is the federal government’s conditional approval of the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement project and Kinder Morgan pipeline.