BC Poised for Decent Growth in A Turbulent World

The Business Council's first Economic Outlook and Review for 2015 projects a 2.6% increase in BC's real GDP and examines the impact on BC's economy of a number of factors including the global economic outlook, a rebounding US economy, declining oil prices and domestic factors such as housing starts and exports.

Highlights

  • The outlook for the world economy has been downgraded due to weakness in Asia and an uneven and generally stagnant performance across the Eurozone.
  • Lower oil prices will work to BC’s economic advantage, as households reap significant savings at the gas pump. BC produces little crude oil, with imports providing most of the refined petroleum consumed here, so lower prices are an economic plus.
  • The US economy, fortunately, is shifting to a stronger growth trajectory and looks positioned for the biggest gains in GDP and employment in more than a decade.
  • Despite a subdued global economic backdrop and a number of downside risks, BC’s exports of goods and services should keep rising, thanks to a rebounding US and a sagging Loonie.
  • The BC job market is finally gaining momentum.
  • Consumers in BC will do their part to support the economy, spending a bit more freely than they did in the first half of the decade. Housing starts are expected to remain stable.
  • British Columbia’s real GDP should increase by 2.6% in 2015, up slightly from 2014.
  • The turmoil in global energy markets likely means further delays for LNG, although an expanded labour supply linked to faltering growth in Alberta may be positive for these proposed BC projects by easing cost pressures. If one or more large LNG projects commence in 2016, BC’s real GDP growth should accelerate to about 3%. Over 2015-16, BC is expected to be near the top of the economic growth rankings among the provinces.