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Economists predict slight rebound and moderate growth for B.C. economy in 2021

Economists on the province's Economic Forecast Council who estimate B.C. is on track for real GDP growth of 4.7 per cent this year and 4.3 per cent next year, before growth slows. .

VICTORIA — Finance Minister Selina Robinson says she’s encouraged by predictions that British Columbia’s economy will rebound this year and next.

Robinson heard Friday from economists on the province’s Economic Forecast Council who estimate B.C. is on track for real GDP growth of 4.7 per cent this year and 4.3 per cent next year, before growth slows.

Click to play video: 'The impact of COVID-19 on the natural resources economy of Northern B.C.' The impact of COVID-19 on the natural resources economy of Northern B.C.
The impact of COVID-19 on the natural resources economy of Northern B.C – Jan 27, 2021

The same measurement for the provincial economy in 2020 shows a 5.1 per cent decline, the worst contraction since 1980.

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The council of economists from major financial institutions warns that the strength of recovery depends heavily on the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and stimulus plans in the United States, a key trade partner.

Read more: Forecast sees B.C.’s economy growing in 2021, but warns hospitality sector could lag

Robinson also heard the recovery won’t be felt evenly, with certain hard-hit industries and low-wage earners tending to suffer the greatest ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

The minister says the next B.C. budget will focus on continuing to support British Columbians through the emergency of the pandemic while investing in the future.

“We can see the light at the end but we’re still in the tunnel,” Robinson says.

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