Saskatchewan's mining sector expected to fuel provincial economic growth: RBC Economics

Saskatchewan's mining sector expected to fuel provincial economic growth: RBC 
TORONTO, June 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Strengthening mining output will drive 
Saskatchewan's economy in 2013, according to the latest RBC Economics 
Provincial Outlook issued today. RBC forecasts provincial real GDP growth of 
2.9 per cent in 2013 and 3.7 per cent in 2014. 
In 2012, RBC's forecast for provincial growth steadily lowered to 2.4 per cent 
as demand for potash - and in turn production - softened largely due to weak 
overseas demand. However, with multi-year sales agreements settled late last 
year and early this year with a number of key overseas purchasers, demand has 
started to pick up. In fact, potash production numbers for the first quarter 
of 2013 are pointing to an impressive 26 per cent increase over year-ago 
"Saskatchewan's economy has traditionally been buffeted by swings in 
agricultural production, and in recent years the mining sector has been 
additional source of volatility," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and 
chief economist, RBC. "We expect the potash rebound to boost mining output by 
4.5 per cent this year and 5.0 per cent next after growth of only 1.0 per cent 
in 2012." 
A sizeable snowfall last winter sparked concerns that Saskatchewan's 
agricultural production would be hindered by potential spring flooding, RBC 
says. By the end of May, however, Saskatchewan's government reported that 67 
per cent of 2013 crops had been planted - this is only slightly below the 
five-year average (70 per cent) for the that time of year. 
"We project a relatively stable 3.0 per cent growth for Saskatchewan's 
agricultural sector both this year and next, assuming that normal growing 
conditions prevail in the fall," said Wright. 
RBC expects residential construction to weaken from the overstated level of 
starts in 2012 - from 10,000 units last year to 7,900 this year and finally, 
6,900 next year. This weakness, however, will be offset by strength in 
non-residential construction, such as ongoing spending on the Legacy potash 
mine. On net, RBC assumes growth in construction spending this year will be 
relatively modest at 1.5 per cent. 
The RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to 
economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales, housing 
starts and consumer price indices. The full report and provincial details are 
available online as of 8 a.m. ET today at 
Craig Wright, RBC Economic Research, 416 974-7457 Paul Ferley, RBC Economic 
Research, 416 974-7231 Elyse Lalonde, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 
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ST: Ontario
-0- Jun/19/2013 09:00 GMT
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