B.C. given a rosy outlook
Michael Kane of the Vancouver Sun writes that the Calgary-based Canada West
Foundation predicts that British Columbia can expect continuing prosperity despite a
tight labour market and troubles in forestry and tourism.
In their report, Let the Good Times Roll, foundation economist Brett Gartner forecasts
that B.C. will enjoy growth of 3.1 per cent for 2007 and 3.2 per cent for 2008. A large
number of industrial, institutional and transportation projects will ensure the construction
sector remains “very active” beyond the 2010 Winter Olympics. Sustained economic
growth is also being supported by high levels of business investment, an educated and
skilled workforce, continuing strength in worldwide demand for base metals and other
commodities, and growth in China and India, which will all play an important role in the
shift of economic dominance from Central Canada to the West. He was confident B.C.’s
growth will outperform the national average for the next couple of years, as it has for the
past five years.
It helped that personal income tax cuts announced in the 2007 budget give B.C. the
lowest provincial income tax rates in Canada for people earning up to $108,000.
The implementation of the B.C.-Alberta Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility
Agreement, has created Canada’s second-largest economic region after Ontario, giving
businesses and workers in both provinces access to more opportunities. “The West is
emerging as more of an economic powerhouse, and B.C. and Alberta joining forces will
help solidify the West’s place in the Canadian economy as a driving force,” Gartner said.
He adds that competition for skilled labour will be strong which will serve to drive up
compensation costs. But this results in market mechanisms coming into play, as they
have in Alberta, where things are slowing from really, really high growth to just high
The report notes that B.C. is leading the country in job growth in 2007, after bettering the
national average for the past four years.
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2007 at 8:22 pm and is filed under Canada News