BMO Economics: Saskatchewan Economy Among Top Performers in

BMO Economics: Saskatchewan Economy Among Top Performers in Canada 
- Double-digit growth in oil production expected in fiscal 2012/2013  
- Farmers benefiting from high prices  
- Real GDP growth of 2.6 per cent expected in 2013 (Canada's expected
to be 1.7 per cent) 
REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN -- (Marketwire) -- 01/17/13 -- Despite some
recent softening, Saskatchewan's economy remains among the top
performers in Canada, according to the Provincial Monitor report
released today by BMO Economics. Real GDP is expected to expand 2.6
per cent in 2013. 
"Activity in the oil & gas sector is still strong, and the Province
is expecting double-digit growth in oil production in fiscal
2012-2013," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital
Markets. "Despite drought ravaging much of the U.S. Midwest last
summer, crop conditions in Saskatchewan for most varieties were good,
with adequate moisture across the vast majority of the province.
This, combined with elevated prices, allowed much of the farm sector
to reap significant income gains." 
While resource-sector activity is still robust in the province,
activity has moderated, particularly in the potash sector-a soft
pricing environment has led some producers to curtail production.
"Potash Corp. announced more temporary shutdowns in October, and
other global producers have scaled back output alongside weaker
demand in China and India," noted Mr. Kavcic. He added that some
uncertainty also still surrounds BHP Billiton's $12 billion Jansen
mine.  
Employment growth remains solid in the province, rising 2.1 per cent
year-over-year in 2012, keeping the jobless rate below 5 per cent for
most of the year. "The broader Saskatchewan economy is also
performing well, with strong retail sales growth, firm population
trends and a healthy housing market," stated Mr. Kavcic. "Existing
home sales were up 7.6 per cent year-over-year through November, but
more supply has helped balance the market in recent months." 
"Saskatchewan continues to be an attractive place to live, work and
invest," said John MacAulay, Senior Vice President, Prairies and
Central Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Businesses are continuing to
invest and build for future growth - not just in the resources
sector, but across the entire spectrum. When we look at small
businesses across the Prairies, our BMO Confidence Report shows the
majority of entrepreneurs are confident and the majority expects
their business to grow this year." 
The Province of Saskatchewan revised its fiscal 2012-2013 surplus
estimate in the General Revenue Fund to $56.2 million (0.1 per cent
of GDP), from the $47.5 million projected in the budget. Revenues are
now pegged at $11.2 billion for fiscal 2012-2013, down $51 million
(0.5 per cent) from the budget plan, with resource revenues the
biggest area of weakness, tracking $405 million (13 per cent) below
the original plan.  
The full Provincial Monitor can be downloaded at
www.bmocm.com/economics. 
About BMO Financial Group  
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $525 billion as at October 31, 2012, and more
than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and
solutions.
Contacts:
Media contact:
Peter Scott, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
PeterE.Scott@bmo.com 
Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia
 
 
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