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

UPDATED: Trudeau announces bioregional oceans protection agreement in Prince Rupert

Agreement announced in partnership with 14 central and north coast First Nations

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Local artist Danika Naccarella commissioned to design artwork for Northern Sea Wolf

The Sea Wolf symbolizes family, loyalty and the protection of those travelling their waters.

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

SAMS student Finn Carlson receives Art Foundation grant to study music

Finn Carlson has received a $500 grant for summer studies at the UBC School of Music.

Second Narrows Bridge collapse survivor remembers tragic day

Kelowna’s Norm Atkinson remembers what it was like to survive B.C. ‘s worst industrial accident

Lions need to focus on football after disruptive fan incident: coach

Wally Buono says his players need to focus on football after defensive back Marcell Young hit a fan

Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects

Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women to be hired

Get your hot dog water, only $40 in Vancouver

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

Privacy questions linger two years after Canada-U.S. terror list deal struck

Two years after Canadian and U.S. security agencies signed an updated agreement officials consider privacy risk

Manitoba MP was allegedly abusive at Red Cross shelter

Canadian Red Cross has filed a complaint that Liberal backbencher MaryAnn Mihychuk ignored protocol

Fiery crash closes Highway 5 near Barriere

The stretch of highway won’t be open until at least 10 a.m., DriveBC says

Most Read