Economy expected to show continued strength, recovery from floods poses challenges

British Columbia’s economic growth is expected to exceed that of Canada in 2021 and 2022, according to projections by the Economic Forecast Council (EFC).

However, the unclear economic impacts of recent flooding and extreme weather conditions may affect future forecasts.

Each year, the British Columbia Minister of Finance meets with the 13-member private sector forecasters council as part of the preparation of the following year’s budget. This year, an additional set of discussions has been added, providing an opportunity to consult with a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Advisory Board to further explore how the provincial government can continue to build resilience and support well- be in British Columbia.

Private sector forecasters predict that, despite the pandemic, the province’s economy will grow 5.3% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022, which is higher than the respective national GDP estimates of 4. 9% and 4.1%. Although British Columbia’s economy contracted in 2020 due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia was among the provincial leaders last year and the 3.4% drop in l The economy was weaker than initially expected.

“The momentum of our strong recovery and rising immunization rates over the past few months have helped put British Columbia on the right track for future economic growth,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “There are other challenges ahead, but forecasts indicate that the work we have done so far has put us on the right track and provided us with a solid foundation to continue responding to the pandemic and recent floods and support a strong recovery for British Columbians. ”

Discussions with the EFC and the ESG Advisory Board focused on current events, issues affecting the BC economy and the environmental, social and governance opportunities and challenges facing the province. Key topics of the meetings:

  • risks and impacts of climate change on people,
  • affordability of housing,
  • reconciliation with indigenous peoples,
  • trade tensions and supply chain disruptions,
  • standard of living, poverty and inequalities,
  • diversity and inclusion,
  • economic resilience and sustainability,
  • the development of natural resources and
  • policies and measures that build shared prosperity.

“As we envision our recovery, we are aligning our investments with our priorities to ensure that while increasing our economic resilience, we also make progress in addressing climate change, reducing poverty and inequality, and promoting social reconciliation with indigenous peoples, ”Robinson mentioned. “After the incredible challenges our province faced with this year’s floods and fires during a pandemic, it has never been more important for us to share ideas on building resilience and sustainability.”

Several forecasters noted that the provincial government’s commitments to fight climate change, its 10-year housing plan, record levels of capital investment and continued work to diversify the economy have helped isolate the province from certain economic impacts. and to position the province well for longer. sustainable growth over time.

The forecasts and comments from both councils will be used to inform the next provincial budget, which will be released on February 22, 2022. EFC members will also have the opportunity to submit revised forecasts in early January.

Fast facts:

  • In the province’s second quarterly report, which does not yet incorporate the impacts of recent extreme weather and flooding, British Columbia forecast a revised deficit of $ 1.7 billion for fiscal year 2021-22, which represents a significant improvement compared to the deficits previously estimated in the 2021 budget and the first quarterly report.
  • Environment, social and governance are three main categories often addressed when assessing sustainability performance, risk mitigation planning and societal well-being.

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