Skip to main content

Finance Minister Carole James at the press gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on July 18, 2019.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

British Columbia is downgrading its economic projections with revised forecasts of lower growth and a reduced budget surplus, citing global economic uncertainty and reduced property and natural-resource revenues.

Finance Minister Carole James said Tuesday the reduced forecasts reflect B.C.’s concerns over potential negative economic effects of trade disputes between the United States and China, tensions about the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the European Union and the uncertain status of some global trade agreements and economies.

Mill closings in B.C.’s forestry industry, dips in commodity exports and declines in property tax revenues are also impacting the province’s bottom line, Ms. James said Tuesday during a quarterly budget update news conference.

Story continues below advertisement

“My job is to make sure we’re as well prepared as we can be and that we are in a good fiscal position to be able to weather the economic storm regardless of what it looks like,” she said.

B.C.’s economic growth is now forecast at 1.7 per cent this year and 1.9 per cent in 2020, down from earlier projections of 2.4 per cent in 2019 and 2.3 per cent next year, Ms. James said. She said the province’s budget surplus for 2019-2020 is now predicted to be $179-million, a drop of $95-million from the estimate in February’s budget.

“We continue to be on solid footing, being the only province that has the triple-A credit rating, one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and zero operating debt,” Ms. James said.

She said private sector economists expect B.C.’s economy to rank near the top in Canada this year and first in Canada in 2020 despite the reduced economic forecast.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter