TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Alberta's economic boom is showing little
sign of slowing down, according to the latest RBC Economics Provincial Outlook released today. RBC forecasts that Alberta will continue to be among
the fastest-growing provincial economies in 2013, with a real GDP
growth rate of 3.5 per cent.
"Alberta is in the midst of an impressive economic boom, with activity
in the province surging by 5.1 per cent in 2011 and remaining on the
fast track in 2012," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief
economist, RBC. "While massive investment in the energy sector - which
was the key catalyst for the economic boom - has been tempered
recently, strong capital expenditures and rapid momentum in other
sectors will keep the economy moving ahead at a sustained clip."
Still, RBC says the mood in the province remains somewhat cautious, as
Alberta's oil sector finds itself increasingly 'land locked' due to
pipeline bottlenecks. Major players in the oil sands have cited
delivery challenges and a greater than usual discount on wellhead
prices as reasons for delays in spending on mega projects. These delays
have raised some concerns about the sustainability of business
investment in the province. RBC expects major players in the oil sands
to remain generally cautious in 2013, keeping spending in a holding
pattern while pipeline issues are addressed and crude oil price
The Outlook report indicates that Alberta will benefit from broad-based
expansion in 2013, with strong population growth and employment
continuing to fuel consumer spending and housing activity showing
continued vigour. On the business side, rising demand for commercial
and industrial space will support growth in capital spending outside
the energy sector.
"We anticipate that Alberta's growth will slow modestly next year thanks
in large part to the lull in oil sands investment," added Wright.
"However, sufficient progress in resolving these oil delivery issues in
2014 should allow for major projects to proceed, setting the stage for
a 4.2 per cent re-acceleration in growth."
The RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to
economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales,
housing starts and consumer price indices. The full report and
provincial details are available online as of 8 a.m. ET today at rbc.com/economics/market/pdf/provfcst.pdf.
For further information:
Craig Wright, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-7457
Robert Hogue, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-6192
Elyse Lalonde, Corporate Communications, RBC Capital Markets, 416 842-5635