VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 27, 2014) - British Columbia's economy will gain strength over the next five years, led by exports and major project construction, says a new forecast by Central 1 Credit Union.

The provincial economy will expand 2.5 per cent this year as consumer spending and the housing market have been stronger than anticipated and export activity has improved.

"Growth will climb to a slightly stronger pace of 2.7 per cent in 2015 as U.S. demand and a low Canadian dollar fuel more export growth," says Bryan Yu, regional economist with Central 1, which is the trade association and financial facility for B.C. credit unions.

During the 2016 to 2019 period, Central 1 projects the start of two major liquefied natural gas projects will drive growth to about 3.4 per cent. However, due to weak commodity prices and cuts in mining investment, projected growth has been reduced for 2016 to 2019 since the last forecast in the spring.

Key findings in the forecast include:

  • Economic growth climbs to 2.5 per cent this year and 2.7 per cent in 2015 before averaging about 3.4 per cent from 2016 to 2019.
  • Exports will lead growth over the next few years, especially in the forestry, manufacturing and tourism sectors.
  • The start of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects will drive growth in 2016-19.
  • Prolonged delays to LNG projects could lower growth by roughly half a percentage point each year in 2016-19.
  • Weak commodity prices and lower expectations for the mining sector have cut growth projections relative to previous forecasts.
  • Employment growth will climb to 1.4 per cent in 2015 before trending in a range of 1.7 to 2.0 per cent.

"I expect forestry, manufacturing and tourism will lead the way for the B.C. economy," Yu says. "Job creation will gain strength and the unemployment rate will fall to 5.3 per cent by 2019."

Read the BC Economic Outlook.

About Central 1

Central 1 is the central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems. Owned primarily by its member credit unions, 43 in B.C. and 86 in Ontario, Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that serves 3.3 million members and collectively holds $97 billion in assets.

With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, Central 1 provides liquidity management, direct banking and payment service solutions as well as a wide range of trade services. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

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

Central 1 Credit Union
Art Chamberlain
Media Relations Manager
905.282.8534 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 8534