Progress Board releases 2007 Annual Report

    VANCOUVER, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - The BC Progress Board issued its 2007 Annual
Benchmark Report today, reporting the status of indicators measuring the
province's economy, innovation, education and social condition and continuing
excellent performance in environmental and health indicators.
    The Progress Board is now in its seventh annual reporting cycle, and
tables its annual benchmark report each December.
    Since the Progress Board was established in 2001, BC has maintained its
first place rank in environmental quality and health outcomes. BC has
maintained its third place rank in standard of living thanks to solid personal
income gains. As well, BC has seen robust employment growth. Although the
province earned a sixth place rank for economic growth in 2006, the general
economic outlook remains strong.
    The Board has noted troubles in the exports and productivity indicators,
however. British Columbia's productivity has essentially been flat since 2001
and BC is losing ground in real exports per capita relative to other provinces
and to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. And
the Board continues to express interest and concern about crime rates and the
prevalence of low income.
    "Economic and social performance in British Columbia continues to improve
across a range of indicators," Gerry Martin, chair of the BC Progress Board,
said. "And we see continuing excellent performance on health and environmental
measurements, where British Columbia is consistently number one."
    "Further to our advisory reports last year on the social condition and
crime, the Board will continue to closely scrutinize performance of these
indicators," Martin said. "Although improvements on LICO (Statistics Canada's
Low Income Cut-Offs) and crime rates have been better than average for two
years now, we are concerned about their continuing poor relative performance.
    "We are also concerned about weakening in some economic indicators, as
evidenced this year in exports," Martin said. "And we will consider this
further in coming Advisory Reports of the Board."

    The Progress Board is now issuing web-based reports, which are available

For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries: Gerry Martin, Chair of the
Progress Board, (604) 775-1664

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