Construction of mixed residential and commercial development, Victoria B.C., May 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C.’s post-pandemic economy to recover in 2022, economists say

Central 1 Credit Union analyzes impact of COVID-19

B.C.’s economy is expected to shrink by 6.1 per cent in 2020, getting back to pre-pandemic output part-way through 2022 with the help of housing and industrial construction, Canada’s credit union organization says.

Central 1 Credit Union’s latest forecast has the B.C. economy growing by 4.0 per cent in 2021, then recovering the rest of the 2020 loss in 2022 as service business rebounds more slowly than goods production. Unemployment is expected to remain at around 10 per cent by the end of 2020, gradually improving to six per cent by 2023.

“Ongoing recovery is set to persist through 2021 and beyond, aided by major construction projects such as the LNG Canada project and the Site C dam, which were initiated prior to the pandemic, but will remain below pre-pandemic levels into 2022,”said Bryan Yu, deputy chief economist for Central 1, releasing the forecast Sept. 9.

Statistics Canada’s labour force survey finds that B.C. has recouped more than half of the 400,000 jobs lost from February through April, with re-opening of businesses closed by the pandemic bringing back mainly part-time employment. Retail spending returned to near February levels in July, with pent-up demand for vehicles, clothing and other discretionary purchases likely a factor, Yu said.

RELATED: Bank of Canada warns of ‘slow, choppy’ recovery

RELATED: B.C. shuts night clubs, alcohol sales after 10 p.m.

A surge in lumber demand and prices has helped B.C. recover more quickly than Alberta and Ontario, which are more dependent on energy and automotive production, among the hardest-hit sectors.

“The housing cycle has been a huge surprise from what was anticipated at the early stages of the pandemic, and is likely propelled by a combination of pent-up demand in March and April, substantial cuts to mortgage rates and a shift in consumer preferences given the advent of work from home and constraints to leisure activities,” Yu said.

As the B.C. forest industry struggles with log supply and costs, other factors are expected to slow the housing market. Housing stars are forecast to decline by more than 20 per cent this year, and rise only modestly after that, with fewer pre-sales and a slowing of B.C.’s population growth due to low travel and immigration.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Young Abbotsford cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Abbotsford parents upset as district gets cohort exemption to maximize class sizes at elementary school

Classes and cohorts shuffled after division eliminated at King Traditional elementary school

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read