VICTORIA - Updated projections from the private sector economic experts who advise the B.C. government show the provincial economy is expected to continue to grow modestly this year and next year, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today at the Vancouver Board of Trade.
The B.C. Economic Forecast Council expects B.C.'s economy to post 2.1 per cent growth in 2013, down slightly from the 2.2 per cent it predicted two months ago at its annual meeting. The council also slightly reduced its 2014 forecast to 2.5 per cent, down from 2.6 per cent. The forecast average for the 2015-17 period remains the same at 2.6 per cent.
As required by the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, the 14-member Economic Forecast Council presents forecasts for B.C.'s economic growth as part of the Province's annual budget process. The council includes some of the most respected independent economic forecasters in Canada. For the first time, this year the B.C. Economic Forecast Council was open to media.
Council members are surveyed twice a year - once in the fall and again the following January - to advise the Finance Minister prior to each year's budget. Government will release its own economic forecast with Budget 2013.
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong -
"This government is fully committed to bringing in a balanced budget this year. After more than a decade of sound fiscal management, we've been able to keep taxes affordable for families. We are continuing our focus on strengthening the economy and creating jobs in these tough economic times."
"While I am reassured by these modest growth predictions from the council, we must continue to be cautious with our budget forecasts because we trade so heavily with countries whose economic recovery is far from certain."
Director of Communications
Ministry of Finance