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ATB declares Alberta’s recession over

ATB Financial has declared Alberta to be out of recession, but warns that it will be years before the economy will fully recover.

The firm’s latest economic outlook report says the province will experience a real GDP growth around the three percent mark in 2017. Tourism and agriculture are the big drivers in the growth though Chief Economist says oil and gas still plays a big role too

“The energy sector continues to be challenged by oil prices hovering below $US 50 per barrel. At those levels, Alberta’s energy sector struggles. Drilling activity and hiring has picked up modestly, but growth in the sector remains tenuous and not likely to snap back to pre-recession levels anytime soon.”

The recession that hit the province in 2014 was one of the worst in its history, with double digit unemployment seen in Calgary and many rural communities left reeling from energy company layoffs and closing businesses.

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The report also notes that while Alberta has added 35,000 jobs this year, the economy is adjusting to be less reliant on oil.

“Alberta’s economy is recovering, but it is not returning to what it looked like in 2014,” says Hirsch. “Instead, the economy is evolving into one that is more diversified, and more typical of other Canadian provinces. It is a slow process and it may be a few more years before we see a full economic recovery.”

Written by Chris Hunter, Country 99

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