Carole James, Finance Minister

VICTORIA: New projections from the Economic Forecast Council show that British Columbia’s strong economy will outperform Canada over the next three years.
Carole James, Minister of Finance, made the announcement at the Economic Forecast Council’s annual meeting.
“The Economic Forecast Council has revised its projections for B.C. for 2019 and beyond, showing substantially greater economic growth in our province,” James said. “This is good news for British Columbians and shows that investments in people strengthen the economy.”
The council predicts B.C.’s real gross domestic product will grow by 2.3% in 2018 and by 2.6% in both 2019 and 2020. Over the medium term, B.C.’s economic forecast has been revised upward and is predicted to grow by 2.3% on average from 2021 to 2023.
“By making historic investments in child care and finally tackling the housing crisis, we are helping to ensure people benefit from long-term economic growth in every community in our province,” James said. “These investments are paying dividends and I thank the Economic Forecast Council members for their advice as we continue building a strong and sustainable economy that works for everyone.”
Council members discussed a range of topics including:
* moderation in B.C.’s housing market since the implementation of provincial and federal policy measures;
* the importance of child care and other measures to support continued long-term economic growth;
* improvements to public infrastructure and services to support economic growth;
* productivity-enhancing initiatives; and
* international topics, including the global economic outlook, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and tariffs and trade restrictions.
The Economic Forecast Council meets in the fall of each year and includes some of Canada’s most respected independent economic forecasters. Its mandate, as outlined by the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, is to offer economic advice to the Minister of Finance in advance of each year’s budget and fiscal plan. An updated economic forecast from the council will be published with the release of Budget 2019.