Alberta recession in 2020 worst of all provinces

Alberta’s GDP dropped 8.2 per cent in 2020, the largest decline among the provinces and its fourth annual contraction in 12 years, according to a report released Monday by Statistics Canada.

Goods-producing industries (-10.1 per cent) and services-producing industries (-7.0 per cent) both fell, said the federal agency.

“Oil and gas extraction decreased 6.4 per cent as a result of weak demand and a glut of oil on world markets. Oil sands extraction dropped 5.6 per cent—the first drop for this industry since 2007, when separate estimates for oil sands were first compiled. Support activities for oil and gas extraction were down 40.8 per cent. Construction fell 12.0 per cent, the third consecutive year of declining activity. The pullback was largely attributable to a significant drop in engineering and other construction activities, with Alberta (-0.12 percentage points) accounting for more than half of the national decline,” said StatsCan.

“Manufacturing fell 9.8 per cent, as 14 of 19 industry groups declined, most notably petroleum refineries (-14.3 per cent), machinery manufacturing (-23.2 per cent) and fabricated metal products (-22.0 per cent). Crop production grew 8.9 per cent on higher output of crops (+6.0%) and licensed cannabis (+54.0 per cent).”

The federal agency said wholesale (-7.5 per cent) and retail (-4.0 per cent) trade were both down. Truck transportation decreased 11.8 per cent and rail transportation fell 7.3 per cent. Limitations on travel and in-person activities contributed to sharp declines in the services that required in-person interaction. Health and social assistance (-6.3 per cent) and educational services (-7.4 per cent) were also impacted by measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Conversely, finance and insurance expanded 5.5 per cent, driven mostly by higher output of credit intermediation services (+6.8 per cent), added StatsCan.

In Canada, the nation’s economy fell by 5.3 per cent.


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