BMO Economics: Alberta to Lead Canada in Economic Growth in 2014

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Oct 30, 2013) - Alberta's economy is expected to remain atop the provincial pack through 2014, according to the Provincial Monitor report released today by BMO Economics.

"Real GDP is on pace to expand 2.5 per cent this year before picking up to 3.3 per cent in 2014 amid post-flood spending and continued growth in the energy sector," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

Flooding in southern Alberta was a major economic disruption in the summer. "While the initial impact was clearly negative for the provincial economy - given the disruptions to consumer spending, tourism, distribution and a pipeline - the Province estimates that repair and rebuilding activity will add 0.2 percentage points to real GDP growth in 2013," noted Mr. Kavcic.

"Across the province, our commercial clients continue to express optimism about the economic environment for business growth," said Robert Hayes, Senior Vice-President, Alberta and NWT Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Our customers tell us that they have confidence in the province from an overall business perspective, as well as in their own capabilities to innovate successfully, create jobs and grow their businesses and to compete effectively on the larger global stage."

Employment growth remains firm at 3.6 per cent year over year in August. "Alberta again leads the country by a healthy margin in job growth; the private sector has more than offset a 1 per cent year-over-year drop in public-sector employment," stated Mr. Kavcic. "The labour market remains relatively tight with the jobless rate holding below 5 per cent - the second lowest in Canada. Alberta continues to draw steady inward migration flows from other provinces."

Housing markets in Calgary and Edmonton continue to outperform national trends. "Housing sales in both centres are posting double-digit year-over-year gains and average prices in Calgary are storming back to levels seen at the market peak in 2007," said Mr. Kavcic.

The full Provincial Monitor can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.