The Province of Alberta released its third-quarter results on Wednesday, Feburary 28 and says growing exports, a strong rebound in consumer spending and confidence and improvement in oil prices show a broad-based recovery of the economy.
Growth is up by 4.5 per cent and the deficit dropped by $1.4 billion.
Finance Minister Joe Ceci says nearly 90,000 full time jobs were created over the last year and the GDP is leading the country.
He also says the deficit is now forcast to be $9.1 billion down $1.4 billion from the budget.
West Texas intermediate forecast price has been revised to $54 US a barrel, and the light-heavy differential is now forecast at $14.50 US a barrel.
However, its should be noted Alberta sells their oil at closer to $30 a barrel as the only real customer of signifcance to the oil industry in the Province is the U-S.
“Alberta’s economic growth and broad-based recovery show that we made the right choice in the face of the worst recession in a generation," said Ceci. "Our choice to invest in Albertans, build infrastructure and carefully find savings without firing thousands of teachers and nurses, is paying off."
"Nearly 90,000 full-time jobs were created over the last year and Alberta’s GDP growth led the country at 4.5 per cent in 2017. Our thoughtful and prudent approach has led to Alberta’s deficit dropping and the economic recovery strengthening. We will continue to work hard to ensure this recovery reaches all Albertans.”
In a press release the government said they have taken significant steps to carefully find savings while continuing to support and protect the public services Albertans rely on.
These measures include:
Negotiating practical agreements, with no raises in return for job stability, with public sector unions, such as the Alberta Teachers’ Association and United Nurses of Alberta.
Freezing salaries until September 2019 for all non-union staff and management across the public sector. Since it was imposed in April 2016, the freeze has saved $29 million a year in the Alberta Public Service alone.
Ongoing hiring restraint in the Alberta Public Service, which has saved $204 million since the beginning of 2015.
Reducing health-care costs by $100 million over three years by lowering generic drug prices plus $28 million from the operational best practices review in 2017-18.
Cutting the salaries and eliminating bonuses for the highest-paid executives of Alberta’s agencies, boards and commissions, saving nearly $16 million annually.
Reviewing public agencies, boards and commissions, resulting in a number of amalgamations and dissolutions, saving $33 million over three years.
Consolidating and transforming government corporate services, such as communications and IT, finance and HR, saving $15 million to $20 million annually once fully implemented, while achieving better results.
Limiting departmental discretionary spending is expected to see a 10 per cent reduction for 2017-18 from the previous year—a savings of approximately $8 million.
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