BC to lead 2015 provincial growth

Economy forecast to expand by 3.1% this year and 2.7% in 2016, despite uncertainty surrounding the province's LNG industry.

May 29, 2015
by PLANT Staff

OTTAWA — BC’s economy is building on the strength of 2014 and is expected to be the only province to advance by more than 3% this year, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook: Spring 2015.

“While some Western provinces are grappling with weak economic conditions, BC is enjoying a period of strong growth. On the heels of a solid economic performance last year, BC is positioned to be the fastest-growing provincial economy this year,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director of provincial forecast.

“The province’s economy will remain strong in 2016, outpacing the national economy.”

Following growth of 2.6% in 2014, BC’s economy is forecast to expand by 3.1% this year and 2.7% in 2016, despite considerable uncertainty surrounding the development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

Many of BC’s service industries, as well as manufacturing, are performing well.

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Exports were up in the first months of the year and should remain strong, as the province’s main trading partners continue to perform well. The province’s housing markets, both new and resale, remain in good shape.

While the forecast is generally positive, there are risks to the outlook. Job creation has been muted so far this year, and if it persists over the summer it could hurt consumer confidence and the domestic economy.

Considerable uncertainty surrounding the development of the province’s LNG industry, due to lower prices in Asian markets.

The Conference Board said a long-awaited decision by Petronas and its partners on whether to move forward with a $36-billion project is expected this year, would be a game changer for BC’s energy sector.

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