B.C. will have the best economic growth in the country this year, according to the latest forecast by the Conference Board of Canada.
It’s Provincial Outlook: 2016 is predicting growth of 2.7%, with the goods and services industries to grow strongly, encouraging Canadians from elsewhere to move to B.C.
It predicts solid demand for new homes will keep housing starts elevated and the resale market shows no signs of slowing down, which is good news for the real estate, finance, and insurance industries.
And B.C.’s manufacturing and tourism sectors are expected to benefit from the low value of the Canadian dollar.
The Conference Board’s forecast includes Petronas’ $36-billion Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas terminal, but notes there is uncertainty as to if and when construction will begin.
The Board says the project adds approximately 1 percentage point to its real GDP forecast for 2017.
As for our neighbour in Alberta, the Conference Board predicts that on the heels of an estimated 2.9% contraction last year, Alberta’s economy is expected to shrink by a further 1.1% in 2016, as the slump in oil prices continues to weigh on the province’s economy.