Vancouver Sun: B.C. commercial fishery among sectors fearing COVID-19 market fallout


Canada is picking the right targets with its assistance package to help business, said Ken Peacock, vice-president and chief economist at the Business Council of B.C., at least initially.

“Containing and reducing the spread of the virus, that’s top priority,” Peacock said, even though it doesn’t directly address some of the damage happening.

“Because the economic fallout from this is directly related or proportional to how widely spread virus becomes. ”

Peacock said B.C.’s travel and tourism sectors have already been hit with flight bans to some destinations and reduced schedules to others and disruptions to cargo movements through the Port of Vancouver, another of region’s main economic drivers.

The COVID-19-related interruptions come at a time when B.C.’s economy had already started to slow, Peacock said, so the Business Council revised its economic forecast last week, reducing its expectations for job growth and exports.

“But that was with, you know, an optimistic containment scenario,” Peacock said, which he’s no longer sure health authorities can hold to.

“We will definitely be revising our outlook in the next few weeks, maybe early April, when we have a bit more data and a bit more sense of just how widespread this is going to be,” Peacock said.

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