That’s the primary message of the quarterly update on Saskatchewan’s economy from RBC Royal Bank. They called Saskatchewan’s performance a mixed bag, slightly behind Manitoba where capital spending has been strong and ahead of Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador which rely more heavily on the oil industry.
We averted an even bigger pullback from COVID because agriculture is strong, especially our exports. China, for example, has been buying our output like never before, despite all the rhetoric around our relationship. We found alternate markets for canola and China stepped up the volume of purchases of field peas. The 27-percent growth in food exports was a solid buffer to the 35-percent reduction in oil exports.
Overall, the bank expects our economy will contract 5-percent this year and rebound 4.3 percent next year. This continues a trend that has seen economists revise their forecasts in our favor, noting that we had the lowest job losses among the provinces and two-thirds of those unemployed in the first months of the pandemic are now back at work.