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B.C.’s economy shines in 2017 and will remain solid through 2020, says new forecast by Central 1 Credit Union

VANCOUVER — The B.C. economy has fired on nearly all cylinders in 2017 and growth will remain healthy through 2020, says a new forecast by Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1).

“Robust consumer demand continues to support the economy thanks to surging employment, combined with strong exports and government support,” said Bryan Yu, deputy chief economist at Central 1. “Housing activity will remain elevated but will not be a significant driver of growth over the next few years,” he added. “B.C.’s important forestry sector continues to face potential headwinds to growth due to softwood lumber trade disputes, this summer’s record wildfire season, and long-term timber availability.”


  • After a strong expansion last year strong expansion, GDP growth is forecast to decelerate but remain robust at 3.5 per cent this year, before slipping to 2.5 per cent in 2018, then climbing to 3.0 in 2019 and 2.6 in 2020.
  • Provincial growth will continue to fare well compared to other provinces and will meet or exceed the national growth rate over the period.
  • Housing market has outperformed early-year expectations with housing starts forecast to decline only six per cent in 2017 following the 33 per cent surge in 2016.
  • Growth in employment has supported growing population and high consumer demand, but should stabilize over the period. Despite this, unemployment will trend lower due to changing demographics.
  • A low Canadian dollar, combined with economic growth and investment, will continue to drive goods and services exports higher.
  • Softwood lumber trade negotiations are a risk for the forestry sector and will combine with production impacts from wildfires to drag on growth. 

“Growth in goods exports, tourism, film industry, technology and business investment will be steady due to a favourable currency,” Yu said. “Government investments also remains high with large utility, transportation and public works projects.”

Read the full report: BC Economic Outlook 2017-2020.

About Central 1

With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, Central 1 holds on balance sheet approximately $17.7 billion in assets. We provide wholesale financial products, trust services, payment processing solutions and direct banking services to approximately 300 credit unions and institutional clients from coast to coast.

In addition, Central 1 is the primary liquidity manager, payments provider and trade association for our 42 member credit unions in B.C. and 70 Ontario member credit unions. Our members represent a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that collectively serves 3.3 million members and holds more than $121.6 billion in assets. For more information, visit


Bryan Yu
Senior Economist
Central 1 Credit Union
T 604.742.5346 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 5346

Member & External Communications
Central 1 Credit Union
T 604.734.2511 or 1.800.661.6813