Saskatchewan’s Economy Expected to Build Momentum in 2018

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN – Today, the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) released the SREDA Consensus Economic Forecast for Saskatchewan. The survey concludes the provincial economy is expected to build momentum in 2018 with many leading economists upgrading their growth prospects for the Saskatchewan economy.

Based on the survey real GDP growth is forecasted at 2.1 percent for 2018 after an estimated 2.0 percent rebound last year, and an increase of 1.9 percent for 2019. This will bump up Saskatchewan to fourth position on the provincial economic growth leader-board for 2018, and second strongest growth next year. This is a significant improvement from last year where Saskatchewan was ranked seventh.

“The forecast bodes well for our local economy, which is already showing signs of strength and stability following the slowdown in the resource sector,” said Alex Fallon, President and CEO of SREDA.

Fallon added, the results of the survey are reassuring given that empirical studies typically show that pooled forecasts increase economic forecast accuracy, especially in periods of high uncertainty. The results show a consensus of growth for the local economy.

The momentum is expected to be driven by ongoing recovery in potash production, sustained oil prices, and a return to more normal growing condition for crops in 2018 and 2019. On the downside, gains will be offset by weak construction activity particularly in non-residential sector, further fiscal tightening, and on-going struggles in the uranium market. In addition, household spending is expected to be held back by sluggish employment and wage growth, and rising interest rates.

“Last year, employment in the Saskatoon Region rose 1.3 percent but the unemployment rate remains elevated above the Region’s 20-year average as labour force growth continues to match job gains. Improved prospects in the Province’s resources industry, which is closely tied to the Region’s manufacturing and service sectors, should strengthen Saskatoon’s job market going forward,” said Gabriel Dzathor, Manager of Economic Forecasting and Analysis at SREDA.

SREDA Consensus Economic Forecast for Saskatchewan was created by taking the mean average of a panel of six prominent independent forecasts: Toronto-Dominion Bank of Canada (TD), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), and the Conference Board of Canada.

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