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Moderate economic growth ahead for BC

B.C.’s economy is expected grow moderately over the next year according to B.C.’s independent Economic Forecast Council.

“B.C.’s economy has performed better than expected this year,” said Finance Minister Colin Hansen. “Given ongoing instability in U.S. and European markets, the council agrees it is essential B.C. continue to exercise prudence as we move forward in budget planning.”

Council members discussed key issues affecting B.C.’s economy, including the diminished risks of a double dip recession, and B.C. outperforming the national average over the forecast period.

Council supported the HST as better tax policy than the PST/GST system it has replaced. 

On average, the council forecasts B.C.’s GDP growth at 3.3 per cent for this year. This is up from Budget 2010, when economic growth was projected at 2.9 per cent.

For 2011, the council has downgraded its forecast to 2.6 per cent, from 3.1 per cent in the budget. The council’s average annual forecast for 2013-2015 is 2.8 per cent.

The Economic Forecast Council represents some of the most respected independent economic forecasters in Canada. As required by the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, the 14-member council provides economic advice to the minister of Finance in developing each year's budget and fiscal plan.

Individual council members’ growth forecasts for B.C.’s real gross domestic product are included in the attached backgrounder.

The council will be resurveyed in early January 2011.