B.C. economy to grow in face of global turmoil

Credit Union sees three per cent growth for province, while poll finds pessimistic residents hunkering down

Growth in the B.C. economy is forecast at at least three per cent in 2016 and beyond despite a downturn in global markets that has fueled consumer pessimism.

B.C.’s economy is forecast to grow at a healthy clip of three per cent this year despite growing global financial uncertainty that has seen stock markets plunge and the Canadian dollar swoon in tandem with the dive in oil prices.

That prediction comes from Central 1 Credit Union senior economist Bryan Yu, who says the province will lead Canada in growth and should weather the global economic turmoil well, thanks to improved exports and tourism due to the weak loonie.

“B.C. will continue to benefit from low interest rates and a lower currency, despite challenges presented by a weak commodity sector,” Yu said. “Lifted by household demand and housing investment, economic growth will ease slightly from 2015 but remain moderate.”

Yu also expects economic growth to average three per cent from 2017 on, with steady consumer activity and higher business investment tied to major project construction.

His forecast assumes one large liquefied natural gas terminal will be built in B.C. and Yu cautioned growth would be slower at about 2.5 per cent and unemployment higher by 0.5 per cent if a new LNG plant fails to materialize.

He predicts unemployment will edge up slightly in 2016 to 6.3 per cent before declining in subsequent years.

The forecast is in contrast to a new Insights West poll that shows B.C. residents have become considerably more pessimistic about the economy and many are adopting a frugal mindset as they hunker down for financial trouble.

Two-in-five of those surveyed expect B.C.’s economy to decline and at least 40 per cent said they plan to slash spending on entertainment, new clothes or dining out to prepare for tougher times.

The poll found 93 per cent expect to pay more for groceries over the next six months and 71 per cent expect higher real estate prices.

Nearly half of respondents said they’ve worried frequently or occasionally about the value of their investments.

Just Posted

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read