Alberta economy now projected to shrink — again — in 2016: ATB Financial

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Alberta is headed for a girl Friday consecutive year of economic contraction, according to ATB Financial’s latest perspective, released Thursday morning.

The province’s economy shrunk by one per cent in 2015, harmonizing to the report, and a smaller contraction of 0.5 per cent is now forecast for 2016.

That’s absolutely a change from its previous forecast — issued just three months earlier — in which ATB was calculating economic growth of 1.4 per cent for Alberta in 2016.

The new report blames the blacker outlook on 12-year lows in the price of oil and the expectation that those prices won’t “win appreciably for some time.”

“This low price environment continues to awe new investment and spending, and has weighed down employment — not only in the oil tch, but fully most sectors of the province,” the report reads.

It adds that unemployment in Alberta is prediction to rise as high as 7.5 per cent by spring or summer but is “less acceptable to rise above eight or nine per cent.”

The outlook does say that other noteworthy industries in Alberta, such as agriculture, forestry and tourism, should take up to perform well this year.

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