VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 30, 2013) - Despite subdued growth in 2013, British Columbia should see a pick-up next year with strong U.S. demand driving gains in exports, according to the Provincial Monitor report released today by BMO Economics.
"Real GDP growth is on track to hold steady at 1.7 per cent this year, as a result of a soft patch in mining investment and subdued housing activity," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "However, 2014 looks more promising, with growth expected to pick up to 2.2 per cent."
"Across the province, our commercial clients are encouraged by the projected economic improvement and the increased trade with the U.S. for continued business growth," said Joanne Gassman, Senior Vice-President, BC & Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Our customers tell us that they feel like they know what to expect. With steady GDP, a balanced housing market in Greater Vancouver, together with continued low interest rates, they can make longer term plans for their business."
The important news has been in the housing market, which appears to have carved out a soft landing. "Sales volumes across the province have rebounded more than 30 per cent from their February low to near the 10-year average," stated Mr. Kavcic. "That, plus a decline in new listings, has helped stabilize prices."
Mr. Kavcic noted that the external environment should help support growth in B.C. through 2014. "China's economy appears to be landing softly and the U.S. recovery is expected to gain steam. Exports were up 5 per cent year over year through July, helped by a jump in forest product shipments; a stronger U.S. housing market will only help support this trend. Note, however, that roughly 40 per cent of forestry-related exports go to the U.S., down from 65 per cent a decade ago, with Asia playing a more prominent role."
The full Provincial Monitor report can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.