Sunday, December 07, 2014

STABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH FORECAST


“I am encouraged that the economy is forecast to see progressively stronger growth, even if it is still modest. This slow-but-steady pace demands that we remain committed to fiscal discipline and controlled spending to sustain our balanced budget.” Michael de Jong Finance Minister

VICTORIA – B.C. is expected to see stable economic growth over the next two years according to projections released today by the independent Economic Forecast Council, Finance Minister Michael de Jong said at the conclusion of his annual meeting with the private-sector council.

In light of steady economic trends, the council expects B.C. real GDP growth of 2.3% in 2014 and 2.7% in both 2015 and 2016, on average, unchanged from the January 2014 forecast. The council also projects B.C.’s real GDP will grow by an average of 2.5% for the 2017-19 period. A final provincial forecast will be published with Budget 2015.

The council discussed its forecast for the B.C., Canadian, U.S., European and Asian economies. Topics included the divergence between employment and retail sales, the role of immigration in B.C., LNG opportunities and challenges, and the B.C. housing market. International topics included the U.S. economic recovery, the outlook for the U.S. housing market and its effect on B.C., slowing economic growth in Asia, and the ongoing challenges in Europe.

The Economic Forecast Council includes some of the most respected independent economic forecasters in Canada. The 14-member council's mandate—as determined by the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act—is to provide economic advice to the Minister of Finance in developing each year's budget and fiscal plan.

The Budget 2015 EFC forecast will serve to determine future potential salary increases in public sector agreements negotiated under the government’s Economic Stability Mandate.


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