ATB Financials new economic outlook to show continued decline

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ATB Financial’s new economic outlook to show continued decline Stock photo. by Jonathan Muma Posted Jul 7, 2015 7:07 am MDT The good news is Alberta isn’t technically heading into a recession, but the bad news is the economy is still sliding in the wrong direction.ATB Financial released its economic outlook Tuesday morning.The report says Alberta’s GDP will be flat, maybe 0.4 per cent this year and a big part of that is because of struggles in the energy sector.ATB Financial Chief Economist Todd Hirsch says while this downturn isn’t as deep as what we’ve seen in 2009, it may linger around longer.“The second half of the year, things have kind of stabilized a little bit at a low level, but there’s still a lot of volatility in these oil prices and that will remain a challenge for Alberta in the second half of 2015,” he said.It’s not all doom and gloom: he says other sectors like forestry, tourism and agriculture are doing very well; in fact, cattle prices are at record highs.Hirsch says he understands the challenges of people losing good paying jobs in oil and gas, but he says the province still added 38,000 new jobs over the last year.Still, the unemployment rate is expected to rise as high as 5.8 per cent next year before coming back down in 2017. read more