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Alberta and Saskatchewan lead provincial growth in 2011


Statistics Canada says Alberta led the provinces in economic growth in 2011, followed closely by Saskatchewan.

The Canadian economy as a whole expanded 2.6 percent in 2011, slowing somewhat after a 3.4 percent expansion in 2010.

But in Alberta, the economy picked up speed. It surged 5.2 percent last year, after a more tepid 3.3 percent expansion a year earlier, buoyed by high energy prices that encouraged extraction and exploration in the oil and gas patch.

Saskatchewan’s economy grew 4.8 percent from the previous year, thanks to strong export demand for its natural resources.

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The most populous province, Ontario, saw sluggish two percent growth in 2011, led by mining and exploration, as well as manufacturing.

In the other provinces, GDP grew 2.8 percent in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1.1 percent in Prince Edward Island, 0.3 percent in Nova Scotia, 0.1 percent in New Brunswick, 1.7 percent in Quebec, 1.1 percent in Manitoba, and 2.9 percent in British Columbia.

The only part of the country to see an outright contraction was Northwest Territories, where economic output dropped 5.5 percent, led by a big decline in diamond mining.

In the other two territories, the Yukon saw 5.6 percent growth amid record levels for gold and silver exploration. In Nunavut, where output of gold and silver ore mining increased for a second consecutive year, GDP rose 7.7 percent.