Economist says growth in Sask. the envy of continent

15 May 2013
SASKATOON — Pick a metric, any metric, and odds are Saskatchewan has just about every other province and state beat.
That’s according to Conference Board of Canada senior vice-president and chief economist Glen Hodgson, who spoke at the 2013 Saskatchewan Forum Tuesday at the Delta Bessborough.
“Saskatchewan is the envy of North America,” he said.
The province is estimated to have the second-highest growth in the country this year and the highest in 2014.
This year will also see a 2.5-per-cent growth in employment. Investment growth will increase in the double digits from 2011-14. Personal disposable income and retail sales are set to keep growing to at least 2025, the furthest year on Hodgson’s sideshow’s bar graph.
And there’s no housing bubble about to burst, he said. There’s no such thing as a national housing market, so the province is insulated from whatever might happen in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, he said.
The only hitch is finding enough workers and ease the pressure on labour markets, he said.
The key, he said, is commodities, even if America becomes a net exporter of energy.
“Everything Saskatchewan makes, the world wants,” he told the audience.
Specifically, he mentioned the developing world — China, with a population of 1.4 billion, and Indonesia, with a rapidly growing population of 150 million.
Aside from oil and gas, those consumers are looking for food with higher caloric content, which would include Saskatchewan’s dairy, pork and beef, he said.
In one of the many times the phrase “good news story” was uttered, Hodgson said the province’s agriculture industry has also diversified to include dry peas, lentils and canola.
“Everything you can grow here, you can sell around the world,” he said.

Economist says growth in Sask. the envy of continent Economic Development  Saskatchewan Provincial Economy   via Prosperity Saskatchewan

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