RBC Economics’ Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales, housing starts and consumer price indices – and their latest edition suggests BC is expected to record a country leading pace-of-growth this year.
RBC senior economist Robert Hogue concedes real economic activity is not spread throughout the BC economy, but says the consumer sector is firing on all cylinders – with substantial strength in retail sales and the housing market.
“We believe those sectors will lead for the entire economy to grow at a fairly brisk pace again this year,” said Hogue. “So it’s a pretty good period of growth for the province at this stage.”
Canada is pushing for renewal with the BC Lumber Trade Council arguing the agreement has benefited both countries.
But, the US Lumber Coalition wants it scrapped claiming among other things changing timber costs have not been incorporated in BC lumber costs.
The Americans have long argued that under the current agreement the Canadian lumber industry is unfairly subsidized by the federal and provincial governments.