Cutbacks, slowdowns and shutdowns have made it hard to find anything to be positive about recently in regards to B.C.’s economy.
Sectors like coal and oil and gas have been battered over the last year with declining prices due to a surplus of these resources currently on the market.
Amid all of this though, the lumber sector is doing quite well thanks to the United States.
“Lumber is improving because the U.S. housing market is getting back, it’s very strong,” says BDC Chief Economist Pierre Cleroux. “Our export of lumber has been increasing to the U.S., for example 21% last year and 12% this year and this is going to be a large part in economy growth in British Columbia this year.”
In fact, British Columbia is supposed to see the biggest improvement in the country with 2.5% economic growth this year.
A hard statistic to probably believe at first with headlines constantly displaying economic turmoil in the country based on plummeting oil, gas and mining prices.
Cleroux says while those sectors are struggling, there are other industries around the country that are improving, such as the manufacturing sector, which he believes will be a driving force in the economy this year.
And with the mining industry following a feast or famine cycle, Cleroux is confident too that the coal industry will bounce back.
“It’s going to come back, there is an oversupply right now and also the demand from emerging countries is not as strong so that is the reason why the price is depressed. But like in the past the price will come back once the supply and demand re-balance.”
The only thing Cleroux isn’t certain about is when exactly that will happen.
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