Tuesday, February 03, 2009

BC Economy Expected To Show Zero Growth in 2009

ECONOMIC FORECAST COUNCIL
LOWERS B.C. FORECAST FOR 2009

VANCOUVER – Deteriorating conditions have led the B.C. Economic Forecast Council to lower its growth projections for the Province, Finance Minister Colin Hansen announced today.

“We are continuing to see deterioration in world economies and this has eroded earlier projections for the province in 2009,” said Hansen. “However, the longer term outlook for 2010 continues to show strength. And British Columbia is well positioned to rebound as the Canadian and world economy recovers.”

The council cited weakening US demand for B.C. products, continued volatility in world financial and commodity markets and moderating domestic demand in their December forecast. On average, the council now expects B.C.’s economy to post zero growth in 2009, downgraded from the 0.6 per cent growth projected in December.

However, participants revised their average 2010 forecast upward, as members now expect B.C.'s real GDP to expand by 2.8 per cent in that year. This is a small increase from the 2.7 per cent real GDP growth projected in December. The council’s average forecast for B.C.’s annual economic growth in the 2011-13 period did not change from December’s estimate of 2.6 per cent.

The Economic Forecast Council represents some of the most respected independent thinkers on economic forecasting in Canada. The Council provides critical economic advice to the minister of finance in developing each year's budget and fiscal plan.

To see a table with the forecasts, please go to http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/Jan_update.htm.


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