B.C. Forecast to repeat as economic performance leader

first_imgFor years the main economic engine of the nation, the Alberta economy, which is believed to have contracted by 2.9 per cent last year, is expected to shrink again this year by a further 1.1 per cent.That’s not likely to bode well for this region, which continues to be tied more closely to Alberta’s economic performance than to B.C.’s largely because of the now slumping oil and gas industry.However, going back to LNG development, the board says if and when the Pacific NothWest Prince Rupert area, $11.4 billion terminal is built, the B.C. government is positioned to annually rake in $85 million in tax dollars — in addition to $294 million in annual royalty revenue from three decades of natural gas drilling in this region. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — If we are to believe the latest forecast by the Conference Board of Canada, B.C. will again this year have the best economic growth in the country.It’s predicting growth of 2.7 per cent with the goods and services industries to grow strongly, encouraging Canadians living elsewhere in the country to move to B.C.The Board predicts broad based gains this year with a solid overall demand for new homes in the province, keeping housing starts elevated in many areas.- Advertisement -The manufacturing and tourism sectors are also expected to benefit from the low value of the Canadian dollar, but the forecast does concede, there’s still uncertainly regarding LNG industry development.It says the Petronas’ $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project adds approximately one per cent to its real GDP forecast for 2017, but it also notes the gap between Asian and North American LNG prices has been closing rapidly.Aside from B.C., the Conference Board says only Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia can expect to see their economies grow this year by more than two per cent, and it paints a particularly bleak picture for Alberta.Advertisementlast_img read more