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Budget 2021

Economic outlook

A summary of Alberta's economic forecast for the first quarter of Budget 2021.

First quarter economic statement

The government’s economic outlook improved over the first 3 months of the fiscal year. After a majority of Albertans got vaccinated, we were able to reopen the province’s economy. This has set the stage for an even broader recovery over the rest of the year.

Read the First Quarter Economic Update (PDF, 1.1 MB).

Significant economic rebound in 2021

Alberta’s economy has recovered more quickly than originally expected. The Alberta Activity Index increased by 9% through May. The province added more than 70,000 jobs since the start of the year and gained back nearly 90% of the jobs lost during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose risks to the economic outlook. However, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is now expected to rebound by 6.7% in 2021, a notable increase from the 4.8% growth predicted in Budget 2021.

In 2022, Alberta’s real GDP is expected to rise by an additional 4.3%, bringing Alberta’s economy back to levels not seen since 2014. Even so, different sectors of the economy are expected to recover at different paces, as the effects of the pandemic continue to be seen.

Table 1. Energy price and currency assumptions

Source: Treasury Board and Finance
Fiscal year 2020-21 Actual 2021-22 Budget forecast 2021-22 Forecast
WTI Oil Price (US$/Barrel) 42.32 46.00 65.50
Light Heavy Differential (US$/Barrel) 10.58 14.60 13.30
Exchange Rate
(US cents/Cdn$)
75.80 77.4 79.1

Table 2. Economic assumptions

* Alberta Treasury Board and Finance estimate
Source: Treasury Board and Finance
Calendar Year 2020 Actual 2021 Q1 Forecast 2022 Q1 Forecast
Economic Growth
(% change in Real GDP)
-8.2* 6.7 4.3
Employment
(% change)
-6.6 5.2 3.5
Unemployment Rate (%) 11.4 8.9 7.3

Budget documents

More budget information

Find out what Budget 2021 means for you.

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

Budget 2021 invests in the infrastructure families and communities need.

Summary of government spending according to Budget 2021.