As farmers work to get the last of the 2023 crop in the bin, we are now starting to get some estimates on how the drought affected us this year, providing a vivid reminder of just how important primary agriculture is to our economy.
The latest to offer some insights into the impact a drought can have on our economy is TD Bank. Its team has just updated its quarterly economic outlook with a sharp write-down for us – from 2.4 per cent growth originally forecast for this year to 1.3 per cent. That 1.1 per cent decline is the steepest of all the provinces.
Next year, they are expecting a return to more normal growing conditions and that is enough to put us back into number one place on the provincial growth charts at 1.5 per cent.
Like the rest of the country, higher interest rates are cutting into retail or consumer activity, but we are riding the wave of higher commodity prices. Uranium is at a 12-year high and we will be the only province to increase oil production next year at a time when prices are rising.