British Columbia’s economy is booming — for the most part. That was the consensus at ICBA’s second annual Industry Outlook event, which brought together industry experts for a morning of insight and forecasts for B.C.’s construction sector and related industries.
Industry Outlook provides a snapshot of the entire economic picture of British Columbia and what work will be available where. The continued decline in commodity prices is affecting numerous B.C. industries and the short-term economic prospects for the province are mixed.
Panelists included Ken Peacock, Chief Economist and Vice President for the Business Council of B.C. Peacock says that 2016 has started inauspiciously, with global economic forecasts trending downwards. However, U.S. employment and housing starts are climbing, which is good news for the forest sector in B.C., he says.
Peacock says he is pessimistic short term but optimistic long term. Although the B.C. job market has picked up, the growth has been in the Lower Mainland. B.C. is still poised to lead the country in economic growth.
Geoff Morrison led the conversation for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), providing an overview for the state of industry.
He says that current commodity price declines present a real challenge for energy producers with a 62 per cent decrease in capital investment from $81 billion to $31 billion.
“The good news is that we are still huge,” Morrison said, with utilities the only industry that comes close. Access to new markets is critical for Canada and all forms of energy will be needed as global demand for energy increases.
Another featured panelist, Alec Morrison of the Mining Suppliers Association of B.C., says that 375,000 direct jobs have resulted from mining in Canada, with 20 per cent of Canada’s total export per year coming from mining. Despite the economic downturn, mining is still a major contributor, he says. Electrification in areas has been a key factor for building new mines. Morrison remains optimistic about the sustainability and innovation in the mining sector.
The Journal of Commerce recently blogged about the event and covered panelist’s presentations. You can view the overview by clicking here, or click on the speakers name in the list below for their specific presentation.
Featured panelists at Industry Outlook 2016:
- Ken Peacock, Chief Economist and Vice President, Business Council of British Columbia
- Alec Morrison, Industry Liaison Director, Mining Suppliers Association
- Geoff Morrison, Manager BC Operations, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
- Cliff Stewart, P.Eng., Vice President, Infrastructure, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
- Richard Wozny, Principal, Site Economics Ltd.
- Michael Ferreira, Managing Principal, Urban Analytics Inc.
- David Galbraith, Deputy Secretary to Treasury Board, Ministry of Finance
- Graham Fenwick, Director of Capital Construction, BC Hydro