"B" grade on How Canada Performs report card reflects transition in B.C.
OTTAWA, May 15, 2014 /CNW/ - British Columba gets a "B" grade for
economic performance, according to The Conference Board of Canada's
first "How Canada Performs: Economy" report card to compare the 10 provinces and 16 advanced countries. The
grade reflects that province's challenges in taking advantage of new
opportunities, most of them in Asia.
Released today, and building on previous "How Canada Performs" analyses, the Economy report card is the first of six to be produced
over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic
"Like Saskatchewan and Alberta, B.C. is blessed with an abundant supply
of natural resources. But it depends more on lumber exports, which have
been constrained by the sluggish state of the U.S. housing market over
the past few years," said Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. "Shale gas, which could be
exported to Asia as liquefied natural gas, offers a significant
B.C. ranks highest among the provinces and third internationally behind
only Switzerland and Ireland in its outward greenfield foreign direct
The sluggish state of the U.S. housing market over the past few years
has negatively affected B.C.'s key forestry sector.
B.C. is a "C" grade performer on labour productivity growth.
A key factor in B.C.'s future success will be its productivity growth.
Productivity is the single most important determinant of a country's
prosperity over the longer term. Between 2008 and 2012, B.C. obtained a
"C" grade on labour productivity growth, trailing four other provinces
and three countries. In addition, B.C.'s level of labour productivity
is slightly below the Canadian average.
British Columbia is an outward-looking province, as demonstrated by its
"A" grade on outward greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI)—that
is, investment that expands an existing business or creates a new
business as opposed to a merger or acquisition.
This performance over a five year period (2008-2012) put B.C. in first
place within Canada and third among the international peers behind only
Switzerland and Ireland.
The province gets a "C" grade on inward greenfield FDI, meaning that it
attracts slightly less investment than would be expected for an economy
of its size.
B.C. earned an "A" grade for GDP growth in 2013, which placed the
province in a tie for 6th place among the 26 jurisdictions analyzed
and ranking higher than all other peer countries except Australia.
Yet, employment in the province actually dropped by 0.2 per cent in
2013, giving B.C. a "C" grade on employment growth. Employment growth
in B.C. is expected to return to more normal levels in line with
greater demand for lumber from the United States.
British Columbia's unemployment rate, while a "B" grade, remains above
the rates in the other Western provinces. The slump in the U.S. housing
market and the damage inflicted by the pine beetle has hurt the
province's key forestry sector.
The Conference Board will hold a British Columbia Business Outlook Webinar on June 20, 2014 at 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT).
How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to
help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's
socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to
peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and
This is the first year that provincial and territorial rankings are
included in the analysis.
The Education and Skills report card will be released in June.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221