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B.C. economy set to grow in 2021, 2022, forecast suggests

Last Updated Feb 25, 2021 at 9:08 am PDT

FILE - Vancouver. (Riley Phillips, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Central 1 suggests the B.C. economy is going to grow by 4.2 per cent this year and by 4.5 per cent in 2022

Vaccine rollout, exports, housing expected to help B.C. economy grow in 2021, 2022

Despite job gain provincially, jobs in tourism, related sectors continue to struggle

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C.’s economy is looking up — at least for now — according to a new forecast.

Central 1 suggests the provincial economy is going to grow by 4.2 per cent this year and by 4.5 per cent in 2022.

Exports and the demand for housing are expected to be the main drivers as economies around the world bounce back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine rollout and development are also expected to help shape the provincial growth.

“Improved business conditions, rising exports and stronger commodity prices will drive a strong rebound in non-residential investment as firms begin to spend after holding back during the early stages of the pandemic,” says Bryan Yu, Central 1 chief economist. “For example, growth of more than 10 per cent is expected for machinery and equipment and building investment this year.”

However, while some sectors are expected to rebound, Central 1 notes the hospitality and “other face-to-face” sectors will likely take a longer time to recover fully.

According to the economic analysis, B.C. has regained close to 90 per cent of the jobs that were first lost when the health crisis began.

Despite this gain, jobs in the tourism and related sectors continue to be at levels far lower than before the pandemic.

“An improved labour market since the spring provides a solid launchpad for employment growth this year,” says Yu. “Average employment is forecast to rise 4.7 per cent, with growth sliding to 3.2 per cent in 2022.”

While Central 1 forecasts growth for 2021 and 2022, its analysis suggests there will be a drop to below three per cent in 2023.

Read the full report:

Central 1 BC economic forecast