Major Projects Off to a Slow Start This Year: British Columbia’s Two-Year Outlook

The Conference Board of Canada, 13 pages, March 18, 2021
Issue Briefing
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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

  • Provincial health officials say vaccinations will be available to all who want one by the fall. Until that time, B.C.’s provincewide public health restrictions will remain in place in some form.
  • At the end of 2020, measures implemented under the Industrial Projects Restart Order reduced the allowable workforce sizes on sites of many of the major projects under way in the province.
  • B.C.’s real GDP declined by an estimated 4.8 per cent in 2020 but is expected to grow by 4.9 per cent in 2021.
  • B.C.’s labour market has regained a larger share of jobs lost since the pandemic began than the national average. Manufacturing and professional, scientific, and technical services have added many new jobs beyond those that were lost last year.
  • Customer-facing industries continue to suffer the most from public health restrictions. Accommodation and food services and the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector will not be able to ramp up their recoveries until a large share of Canadians have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Table of Contents

Key findings

British Columbia snapshot

Economy to benefit from rebound in tourism activity



Industrial outlook




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