CANADA, Dec. 5 (Reuters) – Like other jurisdictions, private sector forecasters forecast BC is likely to see slower economic growth through 2023 due to global inflation and higher interest rates, before steady growth resumes in the medium term.
Each year, BC’s Treasury Secretary meets with the Economic Forecast Council (EFC), a 13-member council of private sector forecasters from across Canada, to prepare next year’s budget. This is the second year that an additional series of discussions has been added, providing an opportunity to consult with an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Advisory Board to explore how provincial government can continue to deliver a more inclusive, build and support a more sustainable economy – being in British Columbia.
The EFC expects the province’s economy to grow 2.9% in 2022 and 0.4% in 2023; slower than their January 2022 forecasts of 4.2% and 2.7% respectively. The updated figures are similar to those presented in the province’s second quarterly report. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is then expected to pick up, with an increase of 1.6% in 2024, followed by gains of 2.3%, 2.3% and 2.1% in 2025, 2026 and 2027, respectively The reduction in the near-term outlook is consistent with other jurisdictions and reflects ongoing global inflation and interest rates rising higher and faster than expected across Canada.
“We are entering this period of slower growth and challenging global economic times in a strong position to continue to support people as BC’s economy has grown faster than most over the past year,” Treasury Secretary Selina Robinson said. “We will use the resources we have to address the issues people care about most, including housing, healthcare and building a sustainable economy that works for everyone – but no matter what’s on the horizon and no matter what.” the numbers show, This government will continue to be here to support the people.”
Discussions with the EFC and ESG Advisory Council focused on current events, issues affecting BC’s economy, and the environmental, social and governance opportunities and challenges facing the province. Topics at the meetings included:
effects of global inflation and monetary policy; government policies to stimulate investment and ensure shared prosperity; socioeconomic factors in BC, such as inequality, indigenous partnerships and well-being; Environment, climate change and transition to a lower carbon economy; affordability and supply of housing; labor market dynamics and immigration; and opportunities for companies to build on BC’s strong ESG profile.
“We are committed to building an inclusive economy where environmental and social sustainability are the foundation for future growth,” said Robinson. “A strong social, cultural and economic foundation is key to thriving and resilient communities. We know that, and we know generations will benefit from the choices we make now.”
Forecasts and feedback from the two councils will be used to inform the next provincial budget, which will be released on February 28, 2023. EFC members also have the opportunity to submit revised forecasts in early January.
In the province’s second quarterly report, BC forecast a revised operating profit of $5.7 billion for fiscal 2022-23. Since the summer, BC has implemented approximately $2 billion in affordability measures. Environmental, social and governance are three main categories that are often discussed when assessing sustainability performance, risk mitigation planning and societal wellbeing.
To read BC’s second quarterly report, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/finances/reports/quarterly-reports
For information on new and existing support measures for BC residents, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/cost-of-living/
For more information on StrongerBC’s economic plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan/
To learn more about how BC is committed to environmental, social and governance principles, read the ESG Summary Report here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our -governments/government-finances/debt management/bc-esg-report.pdf