The B.C. Business Council, drawing on the depressing evidence from myriad sectors, estimates that the provincial economy (“real gross domestic product”) will contract by between seven and 12 per cent.
Or, to put it another way, this year’s decline could be more than twice as deep as the one in 1982 and three or four times worse than what happened in 2009.
“Totally unprecedented,” as the business council’s executive-vice president Jock Finlayson told Rob Shaw of The Vancouver Sun. “We are basically engineering the steepest recession in B.C.’s history as part of our public health strategy.”
Not that he disagreed with the strategy. Government responses to the virus outbreak were essential, as Finlayson himself argued in an opinion piece published in The Sun at the outset of the week.