Alberta wildfire will cut Canadian GDP growth to zero, economist warns

Production cuts in Alberta’s oil sands forced by a raging wildfire may cause Canadian growth to stall in the second quarter, economists warned, predicting this would help keep the central bank on hold and weigh on the Canadian dollar.

The wildfire near the oil sands hub of Fort McMurray has forced the evacuation of 88,000 residents, destroyed 1,600 structures and disrupted energy production.

BMO chief economist Douglas Porter cut his second-quarter GDP estimate to zero from 1.5 per cent, citing the effect of “severe disruptions” to oil production due to the wildfire in a note released Friday.

TOPSHOT - A plume of smoke hangs in the air as forest fires rage on in the distance in Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 4, 2016. Numerous vehicles can be seen abandoned on the highways leading from the raging forest fires in Fort McMurray and neighbouring communities have banded together to offer support in the form of food, water, and gasoline.  / AFP / Cole Burston        (Photo credit should read COLE BURSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – A plume of smoke hangs in the air as forest fires rage on in the distance in Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 4, 2016.
Numerous vehicles can be seen abandoned on the highways leading from the raging forest fires in Fort McMurray and neighbouring communities have banded together to offer support in the form of food, water, and gasoline. / AFP / Cole Burston (Photo credit should read COLE BURSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

h/t TM

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