By September 22, 2017 Read More →

B.C. economy expected to slow in 2018


British Columbia wildfires to impact economy  Source: B.C. gov

CPAs say recent wildfires will have long-term economic impact

According to the BC Check-Up, an annual economic report released by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), provincial GDP is forecasted to 2.9 per cent in 2017, and 2.0 per cent in 2018.

“B.C.’s strong economy continued to attract residents last year, and the population expanded by almost 60,000 residents to reach 4.75 million. The majority of these new residents were either from other provinces or outside of Canada,” said Lori Mathison, president and CEO of CPABC.

While there were bright spots noted in some of the economic indicators, trade and investment uncertainty and the provincial wildfires will create challenges.

“Most of them settled in southern B.C., fuelling growth in the service sector. Population growth is expected to continue in that region and will increase housing demand. As a result, it is expected that the construction industry and other real estate related industries will remain busy in southern B.C. throughout the year and into 2018,” said Mathison.

In addition, exports are expected to remain steady this year due to improving commodity prices and minimal appreciation of the Canadian dollar.

By the end of July 2017, the value of B.C.’s exports exceeded almost 20 per cent of year-to-date value in 2016.

This was largely driven by increases in energy exports. However, exports to the U.S. may be impacted by American trade policy shifts. Recent wildfires will also likely affect softwood exports.

“Outside of the lower mainland the economic outlook is not as positive. We’ve just experienced the worst wildfire season on record in the province’s interior, and its economic impact will be felt for a long time. In addition, Petronas’ withdrawal of the Pacific Northwest LNG project and the uncertainty surrounding Site C may influence future investment decisions for other major projects,” concluded Mathison.


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