Saskatoon-SK: This morning at Innovation Place, the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) held its Quick Quarterly Coffee event to provide the local business community with an update on the state of the Saskatoon region’s economy. Guest speakers included the Hon. Kevin Doherty, Minister of Finance, Government of Saskatchewan – providing an update on the provincial economy – and Mr. Rob Lamb, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Light Source – providing insight into how science and innovation drive growth in the Saskatoon region.
As part of this event, Alex L. Fallon, President & CEO, SREDA released the organization’s ‘Saskatoon Region Economic Dashboard’ – a new, at-a-glance report, summarizing economic indicators for the region’s economy, along with sector analysis including comments from local business groups and industry experts.
The Saskatoon Region Economic Dashboard included SREDA’s B- rating for the region’s economy in Q3 2015.
Commenting on the rating, Fallon says: “Our Quarter 3 rating of a B- reflects the fact that some economic indicators are showing signs of steady—although slight—growth, whilst recognizing that other indicators pointed to a general slowdown within key sectors. Of most interest was the rise in GDP by 0.3% quarter-over-quarter and the marginal growth in most sectors with the construction sector being an outlier, contracting 0.2% within the quarter. This sector saw a year-over-year drop in building permits as well as a drop in housing starts.”
The Saskatoon region continues to attract people as indicated by the 0.5% quarter-over-quarter population growth. This brings with it increased demand for goods and services. Albeit, the unemployment rate rose slightly during this quarter; however, SREDA believes this was largely due to the increased labour force rather than job losses.
Although there are some near-term concerns around commodity prices, overall there is optimism in the mining and agriculture sectors. As well, expected increased infrastructure spending should stimulate the economy despite the impact of the sluggish energy sector.
“It’s a testament to our stable and diverse economy that the Saskatoon region realized slightly positive growth in Quarter 3 despite a general economic slowdown both provincially and nationally. This overall growth in challenging economic times demonstrates the strength of our economy as a whole and bodes well for the future,” concludes Fallon.
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