THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta

Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

The Alberta economy is looking up, according to the chief economist with Alberta Central.

Charles St. Arnaud says the economic outlook is hopeful and cautiously optimistic, especially looking towards the second half of the year.

The first half of 2021 will look similar to 2020, as lockdown procedures only begin to ease in the early months of the year.

“It’s hard to be worse than 2020… As we move on with more vaccinations and more restrictions removed we expect to start to see the economy recover,” St. Arnaud said.

The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine will have the greatest effect on the businesses that are client and entertainment-based, St. Arnaud says.

Many client-based businesses such as spas and salons are operating at least 30 per cent below where they normally would be.

And entertainment-based businesses, such as movie theatres and axe throwing, are still closed to the public.

“The more standardized economy issue we are facing right now is ‘When can we reopen? When can we get back to normal?’ It looks like with the vaccine getting out to more and more people we will start to see something looking closer to normal by the end of the year.”

“We believe that we can look positively and cautiously hopeful on 2021,” St. Arnaud said.

St. Arnaud continued, recognizing there are industries that are back to pre-COVID conditions or better, in some limited areas.

He pointed to the resource industry in Alberta as one area that is already seeing a rebound.

“Oil production is already back to pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

While the resource sector is rebounding, St. Arnaud says not to expect another boom in the industry any time soon.

Likewise, he says the continued mass layoffs predicted as an impact of the pandemic on this industry is also not expected.

“Yes the economy was bad last year, and yes 2021 has started the best, but there have been some glimmers of hope.”

Speaking further on the oil and gas industry in Alberta, St. Arnaud says the province will see some impacts of decisions made in the United States.

The cancellation of the XL Pipeline will have impacts on Alberta, namely it will put pressure on investments in the province, says St. Arnaud.

However, he says there are other projects occurring or in the works south of the border which will ultimately help the Alberta resource industry.

“A lot of these impacts coming out of the States will have a more long-term affects and will be felt less now in 2021,” St. Arnaud said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Gulls Stadium is still under construction, and much of the season is still an unknown, especially the duration. (Photo Courtesy of TD Aerials - Central Alberta)
Sylvan Lake Gulls expecting huge financial impact

The Gulls inagural season is going to be impacted by the pandemic, and changes to the

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

File Photo
FCC report shows opportunity in changing food and beverage trends

Canada’s food and beverage sector may emerge even stronger in 2021

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Most Read