Business in Vancouver: Outlook 2020: Spending, services to drive B.C. growth

  • January 09, 2020


After downgrading its 2019 outlook for B.C.’s economy three times, the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) expects real GDP growth of 2.2% in 2020, up from 1.8% in 2019.

“The challenges we have as an economy cannot be understated,” said Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the BCBC.

He said challenges in B.C. include threats to trade and exports, a cumbersome regulatory environment, a high business tax burden and the prediction of a “significant” drop in housing starts.

Many of them will affect employment, which in turn has implications for employer operations and household spending.

“On Vancouver Island, we could see by January-February as many as 14,000 people out of work in that [forestry] sector alone,” he said.

The BCBC expects the rate of employment growth in 2020 will be less than half of what it was in 2019: that’s 1.2% this year, compared with an estimated 2.5% last year. The council also expects B.C.’s unemployment rate to climb to 4.9%.

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