VICTORIA, B.C. — The Province of B.C. is optimistic the coming year will bring some economic recovery.
B.C.’s Economic Forecast Council announced it is expecting a “slight rebound and moderate growth” during 2021 and more growth in 2022.
The council consists of 13 independent forecasters from banks, financial institutions and independent organizations across Canada. The council gathers once a year with the minister of finance to offer economic advice in advance of each year’s budget and fiscal plan.
“Like all provinces, people in B.C. have weathered a year unlike any other. The pandemic has required significant changes to the way we conduct day-to-day business, and those changes have affected workers, businesses, households and the economy as a whole,” said Selina Robinson, minister of finance, in a statement. “I am encouraged to hear the economic forecasts signal our government is on the right path and poised to seize the opportunities that recovery will offer, but we also need to be realistic about the long road ahead. Our priority will continue to be responding to the needs of people, businesses and communities, during the pandemic response and into recovery.”
The Economic Forecast Council estimates B.C.’s real gross domestic product (GDP) dropped 5.1 per cent in 2020. The council now predicts GDP to rise 4.7 per cent in 2021 and 4.3 per cent in 2022.
Officials noted the economic woes of the pandemic reached their worst point last April, but since then the province has had nine consecutive months of job growth. While unemployment is higher than pre-pandemic levels it is under the national average.