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ATB predicts more Alberta oilpatch layoffs

Provincial economy set to fall by 1.9% this year after a 4% contraction in 2015.


CALGARY — ATB Financial is predicting more tough times for Alberta in the second half of the year.

The provincially-owned lender says the economy is set to fall by 1.9% this year after a 4% contraction in 2015. It says the Fort McMurray, Alta., wildfires will stall economic growth this year, but rebuilding will help boost the numbers in 2017 to a positive 2%.

Chief economist Todd Hirsch says the slowdown in Alberta’s energy sector over the summer will mean more layoffs, driving the unemployment rate above 8%, up from 7.9% in June.

Meanwhile, he says the weak economy will affect retail and housing markets and lead to a net outflow of interprovincial migrants.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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