Local Economy Shows Signs of Stability and Resilience

Saskatoon Region Q3 2016 Economic Dashboard Maintains C Grade

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN – Today, the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) released its Quarter 3 2016 Economic Update Report and Dashboard for the Saskatoon Region. The report rates the status of the local economy with a C grade, maintaining the Quarter 2 2016 rating.

“The Saskatoon Region economy continued to demonstrate strength and resilience over the previous quarter. Despite the ongoing weakness in commodity prices, several key economic indicators pointed to stability and, in some cases, modest growth compared to Q2,” said Alex Fallon, President and CEO of SREDA. “Given recent improvements in local economic data, SREDA remains cautiously optimistic on the near-term economic outlook and is maintaining its “C” rating for the Saskatoon Region economy.”

The report summarizes seventeen key economic indicators related to GDP, employment, housing, retail, business licenses and more. Also included is sector news and input from local business groups and industry experts.

“The local economy has benefited from significant infrastructure investment, higher provincial wholesale trade and manufacturing shipments and continued strong population growth,” added Fallon.

“The growth driving components of our business mix have changed significantly over the past nine months. Overall employment is essentially flat year on year and population growth continues. These facts offer stability for our economic prospects. While some components of the business community are experiencing growth, other portions of Saskatoon’s business base are experiencing lower activity levels,” said Kent Smith-Windsor, Executive Director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.

“Although there has been some business contractions and employee reductions in the marketplace, the majority of Saskatoon businesses have withstood the lower activity and volume relatively unscathed. With oil prices becoming consistently stronger and companies ramping up production, there is cautious optimism that the trough is now behind us,” said Keith Moen, Executive Director of the North Saskatoon Business Association.

“Inventory levels of existing housing stock are slowly being reduced, currently sitting at 13% above the five year average. This is due to above average sales in August and a reduction in the number of additional units to the MLS system. Recent Federal changes affecting buyers qualifying for high ratio mortgages will likely impact sales in the weeks ahead,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors.

“A soft July was followed by enhanced performance in the later part of Q3. Air passenger numbers remained close to record levels. Total tourism volume was slightly off 2015 numbers. Recent Statistics Canada Data received in August confirmed tourism expenditures of $541 million annually,” said Todd Brandt, CEO of Tourism Saskatoon.

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