The Conference Board of Canada released its Provincial Outlook for Spring 2020 on April 15th, confirming that Canada’s economy is and will continue to be strongly affected by COVID-19. We’ve summarized the Saskatchewan outlook for you:
Strong GDP Impact With Similar Rebound
The Conference Board of Canada is estimating that Saskatchewan’s real GDP will decline by 5.0% for 2020 and will rebound by 5.4% in the following year.
Growing Unemployment for 2020
Employment in Saskatchewan is expected to fall by 2.8% this year, bringing the unemployment rate up to 8.7%. Job losses will be largest in the arts, entertainment and recreation, as well as the accommodations and food sector. This is expected to improve as the economy recovers, with employment forecast to rebound by 2.9% in 2021.
Struggling Potash Sector
Saskatchewan’s economy is also feeling the challenges of the potash sector. Since the second half of 2019, temporary shutdowns or production cuts were announced at four separate facilities. Though production has not yet been significantly changed by COVID-19, additional shutdowns may occur if global demand slows because of the pandemic.
Continued Trade Uncertainty
Trade uncertainty will continue to affect provincial exports for 2020, in particular for the energy sector and canola. The COVID-19 pandemic is part of this uncertainty, but China’s ban on Canadian canola imports and global struggles in the oil and gas sector will contribute as well.