According to the latest estimates from TD Economics, British Columbia is expected to lead all of Canada in GDP growth in 2016, at 2.5%. This would be slightly ahead of Ontario, in second, at 2.4%, and considerably higher than the Canada-wide average of 1.7%. All other provinces are expected to see their GDP grow between by 0.6% (Alberta) and 1.7% (Quebec), while the outlook for Newfoundland is for a continued contraction in its GDP (of 0.9%, after it fell by 2.6% in 2014 and 2.1% in 2015).
While the relatively rosy outlook anticipated by TD (and others, such as RBC and the Conference Board of Canada) is predicated on BC"s economic diversity--relying on a mix of resource-, high tech-, and tradable service-based sectors--it's worth noting that 2.5% growth this year would rank below BC's average rate of GDP growth since 2010 (2.6%). It would also sit well below the heady 2002 to 2007 period when the provincial economy expanded by 3.5% per year. This trend of slowing growth is expected to continue into the future, with TD expecting 2.0% growth in BC's economy in 2017 and Urban Futures expecting GDP growth to slow over the longer-term due in large part to constraints imposed by demographic changes.
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