TORONTO, June 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Following turbulence in the early months
of 2014, British Columbia is now on track to surpass its 2013 economic
growth rate, according to the latest RBC Economics Provincial Outlook released today. RBC forecasts provincial real GDP growth of 2.1 per
cent in 2014 and a solid 2.8 per cent in 2015.
"British Columbia's economy will benefit from increased demand from
abroad as export markets pick-up, particularly as the U.S. economy
gathers steam," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief
economist, RBC. "Gains in exports will be augmented in 2015 by the
preliminary ramp up work on multi-billion dollar LNG projects in the
One or more front-runner LNG projects may announce final investment
decisions later this year, says RBC. Should these be approved, RBC
expects noteworthy LNG-related spending to begin in 2015, though
large-scale investment would still likely be years away.
The Provincial Outlook notes that the 28-day strike at Port Metro
Vancouver in March of this year caused significant disruptions to the
flow of goods in and out of B.C. - outbound container traffic fell more
than 50 per cent compared to the same month in 2013. Overall, exports
of merchandise in the province dropped by nearly 10 per cent in March;
however, RBC notes that a 13 per cent gain in the U.S. market grew the
province's merchandise exports by 3.6 per cent overall in the first
"The colder weather in the U.S. this past winter appears to have
strengthened demand for B.C.'s energy products," said Wright. "Exports
of natural gas and electricity surged by 71 per cent and 31 per cent,
respectively, in Q1 2014 over the same period last year."
RBC expects external trade to the U.S. and China - B.C.'s largest export
markets - will continue to boost real GDP growth this year.
RBC says the province's job market continues to improve at a modest
pace; in the first five months of 2014, employment was up 0.5 per cent
compared to the same period in 2013. RBC expects firms to become less
shy about hiring going forward and that employment will increase by 0.7
per cent overall in 2014.
The RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to
economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales,
housing starts and consumer price indices. The full report and
provincial details are available online as of 8 a.m. ET today at rbc.com/economics/economic-reports/provincial-economic-forecasts.html.
For further information:
Craig Wright, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-7457
Robert Hogue, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-6192
Elyse Lalonde, Communications, RBC Capital Markets, 416-842-5635