Central 1 Credit Union

Central 1 Credit Union

September 10, 2014 09:00 ET

Central 1 Credit Union Forecasts Slower Current Growth for Northeast B.C., but Brighter Future Ahead

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 10, 2014) - The economy of Northeast B.C. is expected to grow modestly from now until 2017, but faces a period of slower expansion this year and next, according to a new forecast by Central 1 Credit Union.

"Despite positive natural gas and forestry production, growth will be limited by modest gains in the agriculture sector, an exceptionally weak market for coal and reduced commodity exploration," said economist Bryan Yu, author of the report Economic Prospects for Northeast B.C. "Some uncertainty over the future of liquefied natural gas projects in other areas of the province may also dampen natural gas drilling and exploration."

Economic growth in the region, which spans Dawson Creek, Tumbler Ridge, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson and surrounding areas, is tied closely to its resource base, with industry concentrated in the energy, coal mining and agricultural sectors, manufacturing and transport and warehousing.

B.C.s Northeast region has been a provincial growth leader in recent years, driven by commodity sector production and exploration activity, enthusiasm over the potential of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a strong housing sector.

"As a credit union, we fully appreciate the impact that the ebb and flow of demand and prices for the commodities produced in Northeast British Columbia has on our communities," said Mitchel Chilcott, Chief Executive Officer of North Peace Savings and Credit Union.

"In order to be a relevant local financial institution, North Peace Savings and Credit Union must continually balance the realities of today, with preparations for the anticipated opportunities to come. Eventually, LNG and several other anticipated projects will have substantial and long-lasting impacts to our region, communities and membership. The caveat, however, is that none of these projects are yet for certain."

Coal is the key drag on economic growth in the region as low prices have driven producers to idle mines and curtail development, Yu said. The impact of lower production and exploration will hit hardest this year and next, but activity is expected to remain sluggish until at least mid-decade.

"This Central 1 forecast highlights the opportunities and the challenges we face in this region," says Kelly Longley, Chief Executive Officer of Lake View Credit Union. "It provides valuable information we can use to better serve our members and our communities."

Employment is expected to contract this year by about four per cent, but will grow by about two per cent a year from 2015 to 2017, Yu says.

The regional housing market remains firm and home prices will rise seven per cent this year and average three per cent per year through 2017, he added.

The full report Economic Prospects for Northeast B.C. is available here on central1.com.

About Central 1

Central 1 is the central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems. Owned primarily by its member credit unions, 43 in B.C. and 88 in Ontario, Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that serves 3.3 million members and collectively holds more than $95 billion in assets.

With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, Central 1 provides liquidity management, direct banking and payment service solutions as well as a wide range of trade services. For more information, visit www.central1.com.

Contact Information

  • Art Chamberlain
    Media Relations Manager
    Central 1 Credit Union
    T 905.282.8534 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 8534
    E achamberlain@central1.com