VANCOUVER—B.C.’s economic picture will improve slightly this year and next, before shifting to above average growth rates in 2014-2016, says a new provincial forecast.
The forecast, published by Ontario and B.C. credit union trade association Central 1, found a slight drop in economic growth in 2012, but anticipates an increase in line with recovery south of the border in the coming years.
According to Central 1 chief economist Helmut Pastrick, the provincial economy will grow about 1.7 per cent this year, down from 2.6 per cent in 2011.
“B.C. will grow about 2.2 per cent in 2013, then gain momentum to 3.5 per cent in 2016 as the U.S. starts to recover,” Pastrick said in a statement.
The forecast also projects construction and wood product manufacturing to lead growth in all industries in the province, but slow population growth could hinder consumer spending.
“The biggest risk to this continuing recovery is another recession, but I think that is a low probability,” Pastrick said. “I also think we will continue to muddle through the euro crisis with a series of patchwork measures.”