BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

February 16, 2012 06:00 ET

BMO Blue Book: British Columbia Economy Supported by Asian Export Demand and Key Sectors

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2012) - B.C. growth, while moderating in 2012, will be supported by strong Asian export demand, resource-sector investment and key sectors, according to the BMO Blue Book released today by BMO Capital Markets Economics and BMO Commercial Banking. Much like the U.S. Federal Reserve's Beige Book, the BMO Blue Book combines the expertise of BMO's economists with information on current business conditions provided to BMO's commercial bankers by local businesspeople.

"Growth is expected to moderate to 2.3 per cent in 2012, as residential construction and government spending ease and U.S. economic growth continues at a sluggish pace," said Robert Kavcic, Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

"We are receiving mixed signals from B.C.'s commercial sector, with a strong atmosphere of caution and a holding pattern in business activity," said Derral Moriyama, Senior Vice-President, Commercial, Greater Vancouver District, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We do see a number of sectors exhibiting strength. Construction and engineering firms report that they're extremely busy, with renewed opportunities for jobs and capital machinery purchases. Along with a solid increase in manufacturing activity, this represents good, solid steady business."

Mr. Moriyama also noted that customers are concerned with the halting nature of the economic recovery. "With any momentum seemingly stalled by single announcements in Europe, they feel as if they are taking two steps forward and one step back."

The full BMO Blue Book can be downloaded at http://bmonesbittburns.com/economics/reports/20120216/bb201202.pdf.

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