SOURCE: Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia

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May 24, 2017 18:00 ET

Capital Regional District continue to lead Vancouver Island's economy

VICTORIA, BC--(Marketwired - May 24, 2017) - As the urban hub of the Vancouver Island/Coast Development Region, the Capital Regional District (CRD) is expected to remain busy throughout 2017 and propel the region's economy according to the latest CPABC Regional Check-Up, an annual economic report by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC).

"Early indicators in the region appear promising for 2017, particularly for the CRD," said Chuck Chandler, FCPA, FCA, partner at Grant Thornton LLP. "A low Canadian dollar, combined with travel concerns and restrictions in the US, bodes well for our tourism industry. In fact, hotel occupancy, airport arrivals, and ferry arrivals were up in January 2017. And as the cruise season kicks into full swing, we expect to see more tourism activity in and around Victoria. In fact, it is expected that this year's cruise season will bring almost $100 million in economic value to our region."

The CRD and Nanaimo attracted over 80 per cent of the 10,319 new Vancouver Island/Coast residents in 2016. With population growth expected to continue, the region's real estate market is expected to remain busy. While activity has slowed relative to early 2016 due to a lack of inventory, higher real estate prices, and the foreign buyers' tax, residential construction in the region will remain busy, helping to bring the market into a better supply-demand equilibrium. This will continue to create jobs in the construction industry, which saw an impressive gain of 1,700 jobs in 2016. Continued population growth and demand for housing will also propel employment in the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, and the business, building and other support services industries.

"Efforts to continue to diversify our region's economy will promote long-term economic prosperity. Over the past five years, our region's labour force has shifted towards one that is highly educated, with close to 70 per cent of the labour force having achieved at least a post-secondary certificate in 2016," continued Chandler."This bodes well for our economy, as a higher educated labour force typically translates to better productivity and higher wages."

About CPABC Regional Check-Up ­- Vancouver Island/Coast:
The Vancouver Island/Coast Development Region encompasses Vancouver Island and the central coast of the B.C. mainland from Powell River to Ocean Falls and Bella Coola. The Development Region makes up approximately 17 per cent of the provincial population.

The CPABC Regional Check-Up reports look at British Columbia's eight Development Regions as a place to work, invest, and live. The reports are available online at: www.bccheckup.com.

About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for almost 35,000 CPA members and 5,000 CPA students and candidates. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are recognized internationally for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, and leadership to organizations.

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