British Columbia Economic Outlook: A New Era?

The Conference Board of Canada, September 21, 2017
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Due to a cooldown in the housing market and a blow from U.S. softwood lumber duties, British Columbia is forecast to see its economic growth ease from the strong performance of recent years, but it will still have steady growth in 2017 and 2018. New rules to cool Vancouver’s overheated housing markets have been successful, with the result that employment, incomes, and household spending will not grow as quickly as in previous years.

The new provincial administration is beginning to put its stamp on the government. While it is It is too early to estimate the full economic impact of announced policy and budgetary changes, the new government is inheriting a sound fiscal position. British Columbia ran an estimated surplus of $2.8 billion in 2016-17, making it the envy of other provinces.

The results of the recent provincial election will mean a new dynamic in the legislature, but the province’s fiscal position remains one of the strongest in Canada.

Webinar Highlights

Join Marie-Christine Bernard for highlights from the most recent Provincial Outlook Economic Forecast. This 60-minute session will describe how economic situation in British Columbia may affect your business plans and strategies in the years to come. If you do business in B.C., you won’t want to miss this session.

Marie Christine will discuss several of the following sectors crucial to the B.C. economy.

  • Housing market loses steam but remains resilient. Housing starts are expected to decline by 12.4 per cent this year and 5.5 per cent in 2018. Sales have tumbled, but home prices have recently started to rise again.
  • The forestry industry will struggle over the near term. B.C. will bear the brunt of the U.S. tariffs on imports of softwood lumber, as 60 per cent of Canada’s softwood lumber exports come from the province.
  • B.C.’s LNG sector: The sector recently got some positive news in the form of agreements with First Nations, which should pave the way for additional development.

About Marie Christine

Marie-Christine BernardMarie-Christine Bernard is the Associate Director, Provincial Forecast at The Conference Board of Canada. Marie-Christine is presently in charge of the medium and long-term provincial forecast and publication. She also works on financed research projects and prepares alternative scenarios to the provincial forecast.

Prior to joining the Board in 1996, Marie-Christine was part of an energy and natural resources group (GREEN) at l'Université Laval. She also did research for Gaz Métropolitain, a natural gas distributor in Montreal, on natural gas pricing for non-residential buildings in the province of Quebec.

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