Provincial Outlook Economic Forecast: British Columbia—Autumn 2018

The Conference Board of Canada, 63 pages, December 20, 2018
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This quarterly 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

  • The federal and provincial measures designed to cool the housing markets, most of which took effect at the start of 2018, are expected to weigh on the province’s housing market over the medium term.
  • A Canadian-wide demographic crunch, coupled with B.C.’s unaffordable housing conditions, is leading to hiring headwinds within the province.
  • As housing’s contribution to growth begins to moderate, the recent go-ahead for LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas development is a welcome boost to the province’s outlook for growth over the near term.
  • The province’s finances remain on solid ground, but pockets of economic weakness will translate into reduced revenue streams.
  • The new CUSMA trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico preserves tariff-free trade with B.C.’s largest trading partner. However, the countervailing duties on U.S.-bound lumber exports remain in place.

Table of Contents



British Columbia

  • Still on Solid Ground, but Some Challenges to Economic Growth
  • Demand-Side Policies Heralding a Housing Slowdown
  • Investment in Major Projects Will Offset Weakness in Housing Construction
  • Still a Fiscal Superstar
  • Export Growth Remains Strong Despite Woes in the Forest Sector

Appendix A–Forecast Tables

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