British Columbia is expected to outperform Canada with strong, stable economic growth this year, Finance Minister Carole James said, following an annual meeting with the Economic Forecast Council.
“I’m proud that the members of the Economic Forecast Council have affirmed B.C.’s position as an economic leader in Canada,” James said. “Our government will remain attentive to the ongoing challenges and opportunities highlighted by the council as we work to build a better British Columbia in Budget 2018. I would like to thank the Economic Forecast Council members for their advice on how to ensure a strong, sustainable economy in our province.”
On average, the Economic Forecast Council forecasts B.C.’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 3.4% in 2017, 2.4% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2019. On average, the council estimates B.C.’s economy to grow by 2.1% annually from 2020 to 2022.
Discussion at the annual meeting focused on:
- Housing affordability and supply in B.C.;
- Investment in infrastructure to support B.C.’s economy;
- Opportunities to promote B.C.’s business environment and attract skilled labour;
- Uncertainty around trade policy, including the softwood lumber dispute and the North American Free Trade Agreement; and
- Risks around rising interest rates and a slower global growth trend.
The Economic Forecast Council includes some of the most respected independent economic forecasters in Canada. The 13-member council's mandate, as determined by the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, is to provide economic advice to the Minister of Finance in advance of each budget and fiscal plan.
An updated forecast from the council will be published with Budget 2018.