B.C. could shine amid Canada’s slow economic recovery: Conference Board

Journal of Commerce | The Canadian Press | August 24, 2020

TORONTO — The Conference Board of Canada suggests that the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will take longer than originally expected, with British Columbia among the provinces that is best positioned to rebound.

The Ottawa-based think-tank predicts Canada’s real gross domestic product will fall by 8.2 per cent this year and that it will take until the end of next year for Canada’s economy to return to its pre-pandemic output.

But, the Conference Board predicts that in B.C., real GDP will fall by just 5.5 per cent this year and grow by 6.7 per cent in 2021.

The quarterly report looked at each province and found that while Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador avoided the high COVID-19 infection rates that plagued Ontario and Quebec, they were hit by low oil prices.

The report says that B.C., on the other hand, has not only been able to limit COVID-19’s spread, but has also been boosted by construction, major energy projects and a strong balance sheet at the provincial government level.

The report authors say their forecasts assume that a COVID-19 vaccine will be offered in Canada by June 2021 and that there will be no national lockdown for COVID-19 containment going forward, although there may be regional shutdowns.