Economic growth to slow in B.C. this year: Central 1 Credit Union

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WATCH: A new report says the slump in the B.C. housing market will threaten growth of the economy. Jordan Armstrong has the details, and what experts say could help B.C. avoid an overall recession – Mar 14, 2019

For the second year in a row, B.C.’s economy is expected to continue to slow down, according to Central 1 Credit Union.

However, the employment rate is set to rebound, says the credit union.

READ MORE: Few incentives in spending-heavy B.C. budget, global downturn worries business leaders

The province is going to see a drop in economic growth from nearly four per cent in 2017, to 2.1 per cent in 2019, according to Bryan Yu, the deputy chief economist at Central 1.

“The drop-off is significant, largely what we see is a steep decline in housing market, in terms of sales flow but also what we are anticipating is a significant drop-off in housing starts this year which will filter through the economy.”

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The forecast for the labour market is bumpy.

It is expected to climb 1.9 per cent this year before slipping again in 2020 and 2021.

READ MORE: B.C. February home sales down 27% year over year

“There are a number of projects that are slated to begin in 2020 and 2021. That includes the $40-billion LNG Canada, adding to that is a build-out of the Patullo Bridge.”

The unemployment forecast remains unchanged for 2019, sitting at 4.7 per cent.

In a statement to Global News in response to the report, Minister of Finance Carole James said B.C.’s economy is out-performing all other provinces, pointing to strong wage growth and retail sales along with moderation in the housing market.

“B.C. is in a strong position,” James said. “Our budget is balanced and prudent. Our plan is working, and we can be optimistic and deliberate about how we chart our course from here.”

—With files from Richard Zussman

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