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COVID 19 digital transformation major themes of Economic Outlook 2021

More than 1,200 people registered for the livestream of the economic forecast that was moved to the Calgary Film Centre from a public lunch event due to COVID-19 health protocols.

“The road to economic recovery will be long and bumpy for Calgary. Our economy will look different in the future. Even with the unprecedented circumstances we must adjust to, Calgary remains well positioned to be the city of choice to take on the world’s biggest challenges,” said Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Economic Development.

ATB forecasts Alberta’s economy is set to shrink by 7.1 per cent this year and rebound to grow by 3.3 per cent in 2021 and 2022. Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) forecasts Canada’s economy will contract by 5.8 per cent and grow by 5.1 per cent in 2021 and 3.7 per cent in 2022.

The chief economists for both financial institutions are cautiously optimistic about our ability to bounce back.

“The recovery of the Canadian economy is well under way, but the uncertainties around COVID-19 remain,” said Pierre Cléroux, Vice-President Research & Chief Economist at BDC, which recently released a study on the impact COVID-19 on Canadian entrepreneurs. “Technology adoption is accelerating and will define economic growth in the future.”

Todd Hirsch, Vice President & Chief Economist, ATB Financial, spoke about the need for adaptability in the evolving economic environment and noted change isn’t new to society. 

“Emerging positively from this downturn and the overall shift in the economy is in our hands,” said Hirsch. “Navigating through a changing economy will not be easy, but if we do it right, adapting just might be easier than we think. We'll need to be open to change and the possibilities that brings. Embracing this will be the key to moving forward."

Pierre Cléroux, Vice-President Research & Chief Economist, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), says technology adoption is accelerating, and will define future economic growth.

“The recovery of the Canadian economy is well under way, but the uncertainties around COVID-19 remain,” said Cléroux.

Embracing advanced technology and innovative thinking will mean Calgary remains well positioned for the future, said Moran.

“The bottom line is, it will be Calgarians embracing the opportunities that make the difference,” Moran said. “We are, and always will be, a city of problem solvers who have what it takes. This is an opportunity-rich city. Not some day, today.”

Watch the replay of Economic Outlook 2021, below.

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