Still, B.C.’s projection of an economic rebound of three per cent gross domestic product (GDP) next year is lower than the four-to-five-per-cent projected by the private sector, a recognition of the risks of future waves of the virus and the resulting hardship it may deliver to households, businesses and the provincial treasury if more government aid is required.
“The ministry with its forecast for 2021 is quite implicitly recognizing there’s more pain to come,” said Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of B.C.
The retail and housing market increases are good signs, but B.C.’s economy, like other provinces, has been propped up almost entirely by unprecedented federal government spending, said Finlayson.
Many of those programs are ending, or transitioning into lesser aid packages, in the coming months. At the same time, businesses that were barely hanging on during the summer may either run out of financial runway, declare bankruptcies or choose to close in the face of dismal fall prospects, said Finlayson.