This is the time when the banks start to issue their forecasts for the provincial economy for the final quarter of the year. The first out of the gate is RBC Royal Bank – their narrative is not especially pretty for Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan, the bank notes, is the most susceptible to global markets of all the provinces as we export a greater percentage of our products than any other jurisdiction. So, while China’s restrictions on imports affects only five per cent of Canada’s exports, it has a disproportionate impact here because they are a huge market for us. And we are taking it on the chin.
Canola exports to China fell 27 per cent in the first half of the year. Although not a big crop, soybeans fell by an even wider margin. That took our overall exports down by six per cent.
Then, when coupled with weak housing demand and tepid consumer spending, the story gets even darker, which prompted the bank to revise its forecast for this year for the province by lowering the growth target from 1.1 per cent to 0.6 per cent.