The latest quarterly economic forecast from one of the major banks – this time from TD Canada Trust – is full of superlatives about Saskatchewan’s prospects for the remainder of this year. Using words like ‘bright’ and ‘looking up’ the bank says the province is reaping the reward of being resource-rich at a time when commodity prices are in ascension.
Farm incomes are 24% ahead of last year, potash production is rising, oil is showing strength and uranium output is increasing. Those are the strengths on the commodity side.
But the consumer market is being lifted as well. Housing starts are running at twice the pace they were a year ago, the fastest growth trend in the country. Yet, because we were lagging the rest of the nation on prices increases for years, a new home in Saskatchewan remains very affordable by Canadian standards.
And there’s one final element pushing our growth – government finances. With limited lockdowns during the pandemic, the government resisted the temptation for big spending for consumption, focusing instead on infrastructure investment which will trigger construction and jobs while leaving us with the lowest debt ratio in the country.