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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-0- Mar/19/2013 09:00 GMT
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