Now that we’re a few months into the year, we are starting to get year-end analytics from 2020 and one of them is the impact of COVID on the economy. The economists at RBC Royal Bank stepped up on that one, noting that Saskatchewan’s economy contracted by 5.2 percent last year.
We were one of only a few provinces that fell short of setting a record with the pull back. In other words, we’ve seen worse and survived.
We did better – only marginally but better – than the national figure which was 5.3% and we were in better shape than Quebec, Newfoundland and Alberta. Alberta, in fact, did set a record and took the hardest knock, pulling back more than 8-percent last year.
It was the oil patch – falling production and prices as the world stopped travelling through the pandemic – that so hard in Alberta. And while we felt it too – oil production down more than nine-percent – but some industries in other parts of the country saw declines as high as 30 percent. Plus, we had the benefit of potash production providing a buffer that other provinces didn’t enjoy.