Alberta’s economy will be the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic nationally this year, with the province’s GDP expected to plunge by 11.3 per cent, the Conference Board of Canada projects.
The province has been dealt a double whammy between the pandemic and the sharp decline in oil prices, with both taking a toll on the economy, states a provincial outlook report released by the research firm Monday morning.
But chief economist Pedro Antunes said not all is grim. Alberta is expected to have the largest GDP expansion across the country in 2021, with an estimated increase of 7.9 per cent as economic activity rebounds and global oil demand rises.
“What’s very different for Alberta is that on top of COVID-19 affecting the domestic economy, we’re having the implications of lower demand for transportation fuel, lower demand for air travel.
It’s something longer lasting,” he said in an interview with Postmedia. “It’s a good thing that we are getting a recovery next year, but it doesn’t take the province back to where it was going.”