British Columbia's economy set for modest growth in 2013: RBC Economics

British Columbia's economy set for modest growth in 2013: RBC Economics 
TORONTO, March 19, 2013 /CNW/ - British Columbia's economy limped into 2013 
after growth slowed at the tail end of last year, according to the latest RBC 
Economics Provincial Outlook released today. Tepid economic activity and 
unexpectedly weak capital spending intentions prompted RBC to trim the 
province's real GDP growth from 2.3 per cent to 1.6 per cent for 2013. 
The RBC report notes that provincial employment fell between October 2012 and 
January 2013, doing little to revive personal income growth. B.C.'s retail 
sales and manufacturing shipments also stagnated in the fourth quarter of 
2012, and activity in the home resale market continued to slide. Residential 
construction was flat at best, while housing starts weakened. 
"While it was a slow start to the year, we expect that the relatively soft 
economic picture in British Columbia will be short-lived. In fact, we are 
already seeing signs that housing resales are stabilizing and new motor 
vehicle sales are improving, and that employment regained its footing in 
February," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. 
"We are particularly encouraged by the sustained recovery in U.S. home 
building and its implications for B.C. lumber as provincial exporters will 
reap the benefits of increasing demand from south of the border." 
Business capital spending in the province is expected to play a smaller role 
than previously anticipated, with the most recent Private and Public 
Investment survey by Statistics Canada polling results that counter RBC's 
earlier thesis that stronger non-residential investment would be a prime 
growth engine in 2013. 
"Multi-billion dollar spending intention declines in the mining, and oil and 
gas industries were significant disappointments. Needless to say, this may not 
be the year for an investment boom in B.C.," noted Wright. 
The Outlook notes that intense pressures on B.C.'s revenues from a rollback in 
natural gas royalties and the desire to balance the books by 2013-2014, played 
into the budget blueprint in February - the provincial government stuck to its 
commitment to eliminate the deficit by holding the line on spending, raising 
taxes and selling assets. 
The RBC Economics Provincial Outlook assesses the provinces according to 
economic growth, employment growth, unemployment rates, retail sales, housing 
starts and consumer price indices. The full report and provincial details are 
available online as of 8 a.m. ET today at 
Craig Wright, RBC Economics Research, 416 974-7457 Robert Hogue, RBC Economics 
Research, 416 974-6192 Elyse Lalonde, Communications, RBC Capital Markets, 416 
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ST: Ontario
-0- Mar/19/2013 09:00 GMT
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