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BC Economy Still Healthy...But Growth Will Downshift in 2017

The first 2017 edition of the Business Council of British Columbia's BC Economic Review and Outlook examines the conditions and context for BC's anticipated economic growth rate for the year.  The report reviews key economic indicators including exports, housing starts, spending, employment trends and global economic growth.

Highlights

  • Following three years in which BC topped the provincial growth charts, in 2017 our economy will lose a bit of momentum.  Real gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to expand at a slightly below average pace of 2.2%, with a similar performance in 2018.    

  • The slowdown in BC’s real estate/housing complex, particularly in Metro Vancouver, is a key reason why overall economic growth is projected to slow this year and next.
  • Despite an improved global economic backdrop, BC’s export growth is expected to slow after a solid advance in 2016. 
  • The tourism, film and television industries, benefitting from the weak Canadian dollar, posted rising levels of activity over the past couple of years.  Growth in these sectors is also set to moderate, in part because the recent pace of growth simply cannot be sustained.
  • BC’s labour market should remain quite healthy, with the unemployment rate continuing to edge lower over the forecast horizon.  Job creation, however, will slow after 2016’s outsized jump in employment.   
  • Consumer spending is forecast to remain solid, but it too will slow after two years of brisk gains.

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