Major City Insights: Vancouver—May 2022

The Conference Board of Canada, May 12, 2022
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Despite the rise in case counts from both the Omicron and BA.2 variants early in 2022, most Canadian cities have already seen restrictions loosened or dropped. We expect this to aid in the continued recovery of CMA economies across the country this year. It’s especially good news for the travel and tourism markets in each region, which so far have lagged most other industries in returning to their pre-pandemic levels. Still, higher prices and instability in other parts of the world serve as a downside risk to this year’s outlook.

This edition of our Major City Insights provides new forecasts for growth in 13 major cities across Canada as of March 23, 2022.

This forecast focuses on the Vancouver metropolitan economy.

Document Highlights

  • Vancouver made some positive strides in its economic recovery in 2021, with real GDP surpassing its pre-pandemic level by the final quarter of the year.
  • Entering 2022, the city had to contend with a fifth COVID-19 wave, set off by the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
  • Prudent public health restrictions and capacity limits, combined with a push to boost vaccination rates and boosters, helped Vancouver ride out of the wave.
  • By the end of the first quarter of 2022, British Columbia had lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions, with the last main pandemic measure—the vaccine card—scrapped on April 8.
  • While the threats and risks of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to hang over the economy, ongoing due diligence should help to mitigate the impact of any new variants and waves that emerge in the future.
  • With most of the city’s industries expected to get back on track over the near term, real GDP is forecast to expand by 3.7 per cent this year and 3.3 per cent in 2023.

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