Conference Board of Canada predicts strong economic recovery for Alberta after COVID-19

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With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout steadily underway, Canadians can start to look forward to their world returning to normal — which means good things for the economy.

The Conference Board of Canada is forecasting a 6.1 per cent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, and a further increase of 3.5 per cent real GDP in 2022, according to a report released Monday.

Alberta is expected to have the among the strongest recoveries as resource production and manufacturing begin to resume normal operations – and global gas prices stabilize after a major downturn in 2020 and early 2021.

Overall, Alberta's real GDP is expected to increase by 7.2 per cent this year and another 5.6 per cent in 2022 – well above the national average.

Each province will see its own version of economic recovery, with provinces that had fewer COVID-19 cases likely seeing a quicker recovery — look to Prince Edward Island as a likely example of this.

COVID-19 vaccinations are another contributing factor in the equation. The more people that are fully vaccinated in each province means a better chance of each staying open.

"Strong activity in the resource sector, manufacturing, and construction has allowed for an upward revision to our growth forecast for 2021 from what we released in our spring Canadian outlook," said Pedro Antunes, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada.

Manufacturing across the country accounts for almost $174 billion in GDP per year — more than 10 per cent of Canada's total, which contributes 1.7 million jobs, according to Canadianvisa.org.

Mining, oil and gas and machinery manufacturing employs close to 10 per cent of Alberta’s total work force.

The majority of Canadian resource production is done in Alberta — a total of 63 per cent of all manufacturing facilities are located in this province — according to Canadianvisa.org.