B.C. economy to grow 2% in 2012 and 2013: Scotiabank's Warren Jestin

B.C. economy to grow 2% in 2012 and 2013: Scotiabank's Warren Jestin 
VANCOUVER, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - British Columbia's output is anticipated to 
grow 2% in 2012 and 2013, keeping pace with the national average, Warren 
Jestin, Scotiabank's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, said today. 
"The province should remain a healthy performer," added Mr. Jestin, in an 
address to Vancouver business leaders at Scotiabank Theatre. "Domestic demand 
from consumer spending and business investment - particularly in the mining 
sector - is leading the way." 
While home sales have dropped sharply, with a year-to-date decline of 11% 
province-wide and 22% in Vancouver as of October, consumer demand - driven by 
continuing employment and earnings gains - has supported 3.3% year-to-date 
retail sales growth as of September, he said. 
"The most pronounced home sale price declines were in Vancouver, where the 
reduction in high-priced housing sales has contributed to a year-to-date 
average price decline of 7% as of October," said Mr. Jestin. "Ongoing housing 
weakness is likely to cut into consumer spending, retail sales and employment 
in 2013." 
Historically high mineral prices have supported continued mining sector 
development, added Mr. Jestin. Although Natural Resources Canada forecasts 
have been trimmed, they expect that annual mineral exploration expenditures 
will increase by 17% in 2012, reflecting expectations of medium-term strength 
in global demand. 
Also, in spite of the economic slowdown in China and Europe that has resulted 
in a decline in the value of wood product exports of 11% and 16% respectively 
since the beginning of the year, Mr. Jestin said total B.C. wood product 
exports have increased by 6% year-to-date as of September. The overall 
increase is based on impressive year-to-date growth in wood product exports to 
the U.S. of 26%, reflecting its nascent housing construction recovery. 
"Looking ahead, British Columbia's economy may struggle to maintain this 
momentum as government retrenchment, a strong dollar and weak global demand 
limit output growth," said Mr. Jestin. "The greatest risk to the forecast is a 
more pronounced and extended downturn in the housing market, which would 
negatively impact growth and employment." 
Scotiabank provides clients with in-depth research into the factors shaping 
the outlook for Canada and the global economy, including macroeconomic 
developments, currency and capital market trends, commodity and industry 
performance, as well as monetary, fiscal and public policy issues. 
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and 
Canada's most international bank. With more than 81,000 employees, Scotiabank 
and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries 
around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services 
including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets 
of $670 billion (as at July 31, 2012), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) 
and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit 
Devinder Lamsar, Media Communications, (416) 
SOURCE: Scotiabank 
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CO: Scotiabank
ST: British Columbia
-0- Nov/27/2012 15:57 GMT
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