Provincial Outlook Long-Term Economic Forecast: British Columbia—2020

The Conference Board of Canada, 34 pages, March 31, 2020
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This annual economic forecast for the province of British Columbia examines the economic outlook for the province, including gross domestic product (GDP), output by industry and labour market conditions.

Document Highlights

Please note that this forecast was prepared before COVID 19 dramatically changed the near term economic outlook.

  • Real GDP growth in B.C. will moderate over the long term due to population aging.
  • By 2030, the province’s natural rate of population increase will turn negative.
  • Housing starts will fall throughout the forecast due to slower population growth. Between 2036 and 2040, the number of new homes being constructed each year will be less than half the number that were built in the years between 2016 and 2020.
  • The recent go-ahead for LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas project is good news for B.C.’s economy. The project will boost sectors across the economy, including investment, exports, household spending, and government revenues.
  • A continued reluctance to develop more of the province’s natural resources could hold back growth.
  • Falling timber supply due to the mountain pine beetle infestation and recent devastating wildfire seasons will constrain real output growth in B.C.’s forestry sector.

Table of Contents


British Columbia—Population aging will weigh on growth

  • Overview
  • Demographic patterns
  • Potential output
  • Aggregate demand
  • Industry analysis

Appendix A—Defining and estimating potential output for Canada’s provinces

  • Measuring potential output
  • Estimating potential employment
  • Estimating capital
  • Estimating total factor productivity
  • The output gap

Appendix B—Data Tables

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