Drilling expected to improve, investment growth will be modest and employment will grow by 1.7% in 2017

Mario ToneguzziAlberta will experience the second fastest economic growth rate in the country this year, behind only British Columbia, says a Conference Board of Canada report released on Wednesday.

The Provincial Outlook: Winter 2018 report said B.C. will lead the nation with 3.1 per cent growth this year followed by Alberta and Prince Edward Island at 2.8 per cent, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

“British Columbia’s economy still has a lot of momentum and will be the only province to see economic growth above 3 per cent this year,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, director of provincial forecasting at the Conference Board of Canada.

“Most provinces will perform well, though some will see their economic growth moderate this year.”

The report said recovery will continue to firm up in Alberta this year.

“Drilling is expected to improve or maintain last year’s level of activity, while growth in investment will be modest as major oilsands projects currently under construction are completed.

“With employment growing by 1.7 per cent this year, the province’s unemployment rate will drop to close to six per cent by the end of this year,” said the report.

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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