Low oil prices and U.S. rebound could help B.C.’s economy

WATCH ABOVE: The effects of the low oil prices are being felt right across the country. But as Catherine Urquhart tells us, here in B.C. their loss could be our gain.

In Alberta, tumbling oil prices mean the government is forecasting a $500 million deficit and moves to reduce the oil sands workforce.

In B.C., the economics are lining up little bit differently.

“We have a few things lining up favourably,” says Ken Peacock, Business Council of B.C.

READ MORE: Cheap oil could help Canadian economy

“Things are looking better for B.C. We’ll be among the top performers [in Canada]. We may even lead the pack in 2015.”
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Peacock says low oil prices means more disposable money for British Columbians – evidenced by gas dipping below $1 at many places in Metro Vancouver today. He also says a steadily recovering U.S. economy means more tourism dollars and a stronger market for B.C.’s lumber industry.

READ MORE: Gas dips below $1 at various locations around Metro Vancouver

“That’s linked directly to the U.S. housing economy,” says Peacock. “They have been under-building for the last several years now…you’ll see builders pick up and make that up.”

Earlier this week, Bank of Montreal chief economist Douglas Porter said Ontario and British Columbia will battle it out for who will see the fastest growth in 2015.

The news comes as B.C.’s unemployment rate dipped to 5.4 per cent – the lowest number since 2008.

– With files from The Canadian Press

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