The Red Deer market started the year the same way we started 2016. While sales were slightly lower than last year, the good news is that inventory levels are relatively low keeping the market reasonably close to balance. Better yet, January sales in all of central Alberta were up a promising 12.8% compared to January 2016.
The difference between this January and last is that the price of West Texas crude is $25US higher and because of that, there are more oil rigs working. There’s been a US presidential election, three pipeline announcements, a provincial carbon tax enacted and federal carbon tax announcement, and all kinds of excitement on the Alberta political front.
Of course, no one can predict the future, but it seems the Alberta economy is trending in the right direction. Some of those things that have happened over the past year will create jobs and grow the economy in the future, but not necessarily in the next few months. The thing that may carry the economy until that growth becomes real is confidence. Confidence is a powerful force – it encourages people to invest, to spend, to hire and grow their businesses. All by itself, It is an engine of the economy and what we really need to carry us through.