B.C. economy to grow in face of global turmoil

Credit Union sees three per cent growth for province, while poll finds pessimistic residents hunkering down

Growth in the B.C. economy is forecast at at least three per cent in 2016 and beyond despite a downturn in global markets that has fueled consumer pessimism.

B.C.’s economy is forecast to grow at a healthy clip of three per cent this year despite growing global financial uncertainty that has seen stock markets plunge and the Canadian dollar swoon in tandem with the dive in oil prices.

That prediction comes from Central 1 Credit Union senior economist Bryan Yu, who says the province will lead Canada in growth and should weather the global economic turmoil well, thanks to improved exports and tourism due to the weak loonie.

“B.C. will continue to benefit from low interest rates and a lower currency, despite challenges presented by a weak commodity sector,” Yu said. “Lifted by household demand and housing investment, economic growth will ease slightly from 2015 but remain moderate.”

Yu also expects economic growth to average three per cent from 2017 on, with steady consumer activity and higher business investment tied to major project construction.

His forecast assumes one large liquefied natural gas terminal will be built in B.C. and Yu cautioned growth would be slower at about 2.5 per cent and unemployment higher by 0.5 per cent if a new LNG plant fails to materialize.

He predicts unemployment will edge up slightly in 2016 to 6.3 per cent before declining in subsequent years.

The forecast is in contrast to a new Insights West poll that shows B.C. residents have become considerably more pessimistic about the economy and many are adopting a frugal mindset as they hunker down for financial trouble.

Two-in-five of those surveyed expect B.C.’s economy to decline and at least 40 per cent said they plan to slash spending on entertainment, new clothes or dining out to prepare for tougher times.

The poll found 93 per cent expect to pay more for groceries over the next six months and 71 per cent expect higher real estate prices.

Nearly half of respondents said they’ve worried frequently or occasionally about the value of their investments.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Zoning hearing scheduled for major Castlegar housing development

Phase two of Twin Rivers Estates needs a zoning change before moving forward

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Castlegar cyclist suffers non-life threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

The incident occurred on the Kinnaird Bridge at approximately 8:50 a.m. on Thursday

Mercer Celgar to temporarily lay off majority of Castlegar mill workers in July

The company said it’s possible that the workers could be laid off for more than a month

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Columbia Basin Trust expands programming to support businesses

The revised programs will help local businesses to reopen and modify operations

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

COVID-19: Closed B.C. businesses allowed to sell liquor stock

Sales allowed to other licensees that can reopen

Trudeau to offer premiers billions to help reopen the economy safely

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Most Read