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BC Economic Index

The BC Economic Index is a snapshot of BC’s economic activity that captures a variety of important indicators, including construction, manufacturing, employment, retail sales and international visits.

Please note this is no longer being published.  Please see our Economic Review and Outlook publication for recent information on BC's economy.

Modest Growth Trajectory Continues for BC

BC Economic Index       v11 n2

According to the latest reading of the Business Council's BC Economic Index, the provincial economy continued to grow in the second quarter of 2012. The pace of growth was moderate, with the Index advancing by a comparatively tame 0.2% from the previous quarter.

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Economic Index Suggests 2012 Off To A Slow Start

BC Economic Index       v11 n1
In the first three months of the year, the Business Council’s BC Economic Index registered a slight 0.2% quarterly contraction. This is a small decline reflecting the fact that, in the wake of the global financial crisis and recession, overall economic conditions remain somewhat uncertain and growth in the province remains choppy. The Q1 dip follows a strong advance in the Index in the fourth quarter of 2011, which in turn came after almost no increase in the Q32011.

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Small Decline in the BC Economic Index in Q3

BC Economic Index       v10 n3
In the third quarter of 2011 the BC Economic Index registered a slight 0.1% contraction. Adding to the weak reading, the result from the second quarter was revised down from a respectable 0.8% increase to a more modest 0.5% advance. As an indicator of current economic conditions, the downward revision coupled with the small contraction in Q3 indicates that the provincial economy essentially stalled over the past few months.

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Another Quarter of Modest Growth For BC

BC Economic Index       v10 n2
In the second quarter of 2011 the BC Economic Index posted a 0.8% quarterly increase. As an indicator of current economic conditions, this reading suggests the provincial economy is growing at a modest pace following similar performances in both the first quarter and the fourth quarter of 2010. Given the economic recovery is just two years old, this rate of expansion is not particularly strong. But against the backdrop of rising global uncertainty and ongoing malaise in the US, another interpretation is that BC’s economy is holding up relatively well.

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Moderate Expansion Continues in 2011

BC Economic Index       v10 n1
The BC Economic Index posted a 0.6% quarterly increase in the first quarter of the year, essentially matching the Q4 2010 rise. The good news is that consecutive quarterly gains in the Index of this magnitude indicate the economy is on a solid footing. But a cautionary note is that growth remains on the soft side considering the depth of the 2008/09 recession. With growth having slowed quite sharply from the early stages of the recovery, BC’s unemployment rate remains in excess of 8%. For it to move lower will require more job creation which ultimately depends on a return to more robust economic conditions.

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