B.C.’s economic growth to outpace Canada's over the next three years

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      Members of the Economic Forecast Council (EFC) are predicting that British Columbia’s economy will grow at a faster rate than the country as a whole over the next three years.

      The announcement came at the close of the EFC’s annual meeting, an event that considers how B.C’s GDP has changed over the year and how it will perform in the future.

      Speaking from the summit, finance minister Carol James said that the council has “revised its projections for B.C. for 2019 and beyond,” with the economy’s strong showing creating “substantially greater economic growth in our province.”

      The council predicts B.C.’s real gross domestic product will grow by 2.3 percent in 2018, and by 2.6 percent in both 2019 and 2020. Over the medium term, B.C.’s economic forecast has been revised upward and is predicted to grow by 2.3 percent on average from 2021 to 2023.

      “By making historic investments in child care and finally tackling the housing crisis, we are helping to ensure people benefit from long-term economic growth in every community in our province,” James said. “These investments are paying dividends and I thank the Economic Forecast Council members for their advice as we continue building a strong and sustainable economy that works for everyone.”

      A number of industries are pushing up B.C.’s average. Technology, construction, manufacturing, and professional, scientific, and technical services each boast a growth rate that is higher than the EFC’s projections for the province.

      Council members discussed a range of topics at the meeting, including:

      • moderation in B.C.’s housing market since the implementation of provincial and federal policy measures;
      • the importance of child care and other measures to support continued long-term economic growth;
      • improvements to public infrastructure and services to support economic growth;
      • productivity-enhancing initiatives; and
      • international topics, including the global economic outlook, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and tariffs and trade restrictions.

      The Economic Forecast Council meets in the fall of each year and includes some of Canada’s most respected independent economic forecasters. Its role is to offer economic advice to the minister of finance in advance of each year’s budget and fiscal plan.

      An updated economic forecast from the council will be published with the release of Budget 2019.

      Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays