BC Economic Review & Outlook >>
BC's Economy Remains on Solid Growth Path Despite Muted Global Backdrop
Against the backdrop of a subdued global economy, British Columbia looks poised for healthy growth over 2016-17, continuing the pattern of last year. While parts of our economy will be held back by depressed prices for some key commodities, exports of non-resource goods together with many services – including tourism – are enjoying a lift from the low Canadian dollar. The province’s housing market also remains buoyant, supported by rock-bottom interest rates, better job growth and steady inflows of immigrants and foreign money.
The global economic backdrop remains unsettled. Over the past year forecasts have been scaled back. Global growth is now projected to be around 3% this year and in 2017 as well.
Growth projections for many of BC’s key trading partners have also been cut, which, along with mixed commodity prices, is weighing on BC's merchandise exports.
The weak dollar and the ongoing expansion in the US are a source of export strength for the province. Tourism and other service exports are benefitting from the lower currency.
The domestic side of the BC economy is healthy, led by robust housing activity, large gains in the retail sector and solid job growth.
Although job growth in BC is strong, it is concentrated in the southwest part of the province. Other regions have seen employment levels slip over the past year.
Net in-migration from other provinces, particularly Alberta, is helping underpin domestic economic activity.
- In light of the weaker external setting, we have trimmed the outlook for BC's real GDP growth slightly for 2016 to 2.7%. For 2017, we now expect growth to be 2.6% (a reduction of 0.4 percentage points from our previous projection).