Alberta sees first drop in bankruptcies in more than a year
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Alberta sees first drop in bankruptcies in more than a year


In another piece of positive economic news, Alberta has seen its first year-to-year drop in insolvencies in almost two years, figures released Friday show.

The province had 1,093 individuals and businesses file for insolvency — either bankruptcy or a formal proposal to creditors to settle debts — in February, a reduction from 1,099 in February 2016, according to the federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

That 0.5 per cent decline is the first reduction over a 12-month period since April 2015, when Alberta recorded 781 insolvencies and the annual rate went down 1.1 per cent.

Most months since then have shown double-digit hikes in yearly insolvencies that have been as high as 50 per cent.


But rising oil prices are sparking signs of economic growth in the province. The Conference Board of Canada expects Alberta’s gross domestic product to rise by 2.8 per cent this year, the best in the country, after posting the biggest decline of any province in 2016.

Alberta is also expected to lead the way as nearly 6,700 oil and gas wells are forecast to be drilled in Canada in 2017, up 30 per cent from a January forecast.

However, ATB Financial chief economist Todd Hirsch has forecast the provincial unemployment rate will stay around 8.8 per cent for at least the first half of the year because even as the economy improves, companies will be reluctant to hire more staff.

He expects tourism will be among the bright spots, boosted by the country’s 150th birthday celebrations, a dollar likely to stay below 80 cents US, cheaper fuel costs and a strong American economy.

gkent@postmedia.com

twitter.com/GKentYEG

source : Calgary SUN
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