COVID-19 pandemic and low energy prices leave Alberta with $ 24.2 billion deficit

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Alberta’s first quarter budget update says the double whammy of collapsing oil prices and the COVID-19 crisis have pushed the province into a historic deficit of $ 24.2 billion.Red-inked Finance Minister Travis Toews predicted for 2020-2021 is more than triple what the United Conservative government predicted in its February budget.

The value of everything Albertans produce is expected to drop almost 9%.

The unemployment rate, which is currently around 12 percent, is expected to hold near double-digit levels next year.

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The government says the economy will start to rebound next year, but it will not be enough to make up for lost ground in 2020.

The Conference Board of Canada said this week that Alberta will be the hardest hit province economically this year with an 11% contraction in GDP.

More soon…

© 2020 The Canadian Press



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