Overview

Real GDP growth is forecast to slow to 0.6% in 2019, following an estimated 2.2% increase in 2018. With business investment picking up, real GDP is expected to rebound and grow by 2.7% in 2020, averaging 3.0% per year over the medium term.

As the economy moves from recovery into expansion, private domestic demand is expected to underpin Alberta’s growth.

Reducing the corporate income tax rate to 8% by 2022 will place Alberta among the most attractive investment destinations in North America. This, along with improved market access, will set the stage for increasing investment and employment. A relatively young and fast-growing population will also support Alberta’s growth.

Despite the improved medium-term outlook, Budget 2019 does not assume a quick rebound. Alberta’s real GDP is not expected to return to pre-recession levels until 2020, and the unemployment rate will not reach its 20-year average of about 5% until 2023.

Key energy price and economic assumptions

Fiscal Year 2018-19 Actuals 2019-20 Estimate 2020-21 Forecast 2021-22 Forecast
WTO Oil Price (US$/Barrel) 62.77 57.00 58.00 62.00
Light Heavy Differential (US$/Barrel) 23.31 14.20 18.40 21.00
Natural Gas (Alberta Reference Price Cdn$/GJ) 1.34 1.30 1.60 1.90
Exchange Rate (US cents / Cdn$) 76.3 75.0 76.0 77.0
Source: Treasury Board and Finance
Calendar Year 2018 Estimate 2019 Estimate 2020 Forecast 2021 Forecast 2022 Forecast
Economic Growth (% change in Real GDP) 2.2 0.6 2.7 2.9 3.0
Employment (% change) 1.9a 0.9 1.6 2.0 2.2
Unemployment Rate (%) 6.6a 6.7 6.5 6.0 5.5
Source: Treasury Board and Finance; a-actuals

More budget information

A plan to get Albertans back to work, make life better and stand up for Alberta.

Revenue projections from taxes, transfers, investment income and resources.

Budget 2019 invests in the infrastructure families and communities need.

Budget 2019 reduces the tax burden on Albertans and Alberta businesses.