With the recent fluctuation in the Canadian dollar, increasing interest rates, the ongoing softwood lumber dispute, gains and decreases in the oil industry, and the steady rise of tourism on Vancouver Island, change is inevitable for local business and the economy.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, economic growth on the Island has been ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 per cent over the past few years, however, it is likely to slow down to two per cent through the rest of 2017 and into 2018. Analysts predict that the drop in economic growth is driven by fewer people moving to the Island, and the prolonged softwood lumber dispute.
In 2015, the provincial economy underwent a period of adjustment that was driven by declines in oil and other commodity prices, which paired with declines of the value of the Canadian dollar, had a negative impact on oil-producing provinces. B.C. benefited somewhat from the oil decline through increased exports to the U.S., population growth and continued strength in the housing market, which has continued through to this year. Economic conditions in B.C. ended up relatively strong in the first half of 2016, and continued relatively strong until trailing down in the beginning of 2017, when gains in oil prices led to a recovery in the Canadian dollar’s value in the second quarter.
This analysis comes from the unique State Of The Island Economic Report, made possible by the initiative and sponsorship of MNP and by additional sponsorship from the Nanaimo Airport, Coastal Community Credit Union, BC Ferries, BC Hydro and the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
Susan Mowbray, senior manager of economics and research at MNP, will present the third annual State of the Island Economic Report at this year’s Economic Summit at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Oct. 25 and 26 in Nanaimo.
“The Economic Report uses statistical information to show us what has happened and what it might mean for the foreseeable future, while the Economic Summit uses presentation and dialogue to expose what is happening and to explore what could be happening,” said VIEA president George Hanson.
“We think this is a powerful combination — equipping us all with solid information as well as progressive perspective.”
You can join over 500 business and community leaders at this year’s summit by registering at www.viea.ca.