Healthy economic growth fuelled by better job picture, market: business council

VANCOUVER – The Business Council of British Columbia predicts above average economic performance in the province over the next two years.

In its newly released 2014 review and outlook, the council estimates B.C.’s gross domestic product will climb by 2.3 per cent this year, and more than three per cent in 2015, when adjusted for inflation.

Those figures are a significant improvement over the 1.4 per cent expansion the council predicted in 2013.

Council executive vice-president Jock Finlayson points to positive external factors such as a stronger U.S. economy, lifting of the recession in Europe, and continued market expansion in China and across Asia as reasons for the brighter outlook.

Finlayson also says B.C.’s job market is poised for improvement this year, while consumer spending across the province picked up late last year and is expected to keep growing into 2015.

The council, which represents 250 companies, post-secondary institutions, and affiliated industry associations in B.C., is also optimistic about the launch of construction on one or two liquefied natural gas projects, as well as related pipeline construction.