TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - British Columbia's economy is expected to
benefit from improving exports and the proposed multi-billion dollar
projects in the energy sector in 2014 following a year of moderate
growth in 2013, according to the latest RBC Economics Provincial Outlook released today. RBC anticipates provincial real GDP growth of 1.2 per
cent in 2013, 2.4 per cent in 2014, and 2.8 per cent in 2015.
"We anticipate that rising external trade and the eventual green light
on major investment projects will boost confidence in the province in
2014," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist,
RBC "Higher confidence will lead to stronger hiring by businesses and
increased spending by households - both of which were lethargic in
RBC notes that 2013 marked a year of improvement on the external trade
front, with strong gains recorded in merchandise exports to the U.S.
and China, up nearly 10 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively,
year-to-date. Non-residential investment also remained solid, tracking
4.4 per cent higher than 2012 in real terms during the first three
quarters of 2013.
Employment, on the other hand, remained perplexingly flat overall, while
retail sales rose by just 1.1 per cent year-to-date in September, RBC
says. Additionally, as anticipated, housing construction eased up from
a year earlier following a significant cooling of home resales during
most of 2011 and 2012.
In 2014, RBC expects that a continued recovery in U.S. home building and
rising demand for British Columbia's products from China will boost
"External demand for B.C.-made goods will be a key source of economic
activity next year and beyond. This will especially be true for
provincial resource industries such as forest products and mining, and
to a lesser extent, manufacturing," said Wright.
RBC believes that a possibly bigger boost to the B.C. economy hangs in
the balance with the upcoming decisions around building multi-billion
dollar liquefied natural gas facilities in the Kitimat and Prince
Rupert areas. More than a dozen projects are currently under review or
"We believe that the establishment of globally competitive tax rules
will clear the way for a small number of those projects being approved
next year," added Wright. "While the larger direct economic impact on
construction is likely to begin to flow in 2015, we expect the prep
work and the boost in confidence around these projects to drive job
creation and help lift business and consumer spending 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