Alberta was the only "Debt Free" province in Canada. It is no longer debt free and there is no short term plan to remedy the situation. The provincial economy is diverse with major components in the Petrochemical industry, Agriculture, Tourism, and Knowledge based industries. Canada is second only to Saudi Arabia in proven oil reserves - and most of that is located in Alberta. That said, there is a lot of confusion about the placde of petroleum products in our modern world.
General Economic Conditions:
The business environment in Alberta is significantly deterorated from a few years ago.
Alberta is one of the youngest jurisdictions in North America. High levels of in migration of younger people has resulted in a younger demographic. This, coupled with the low unemployment rates and above average income rates has resulted in Alberta housing being on the top end of the afford ability index.. Simply put, housing in Alberta takes a smaller part of the pay cheque than anywhere else in Canada.
Mega projects, long a staple of the Alberta economy, are now scarce. That said, the broader diversification we are seeing is providing many smaller signs of good growth. Patience is a key word and caution and understanding of the market are important tools for the investor.
See What RBC Canada has to say about the Canadian economy and specifics relating to Alberta
The Alberta Government department of Finance provides a great deal of information on both economics and demographics in the province.
Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation tracks statistics relating to housing as well as providing very realistic forecasting.