Economic output in Canada was slower than expected in October, as real GDP was unchanged after a 0.5% decline in September. Both the Goods and Service sectors recorded zero growth in October, below an expected 0.2% increase overall. It is now unlikely that GDP growth will reach the Bank of Canada's forecast of 1.5% this year. However, Canada's relative weak performance is tied to temporary factors concerning oil and gas extraction and global commodity demand.
In related releases, retail sales in Canada rose at an unexciting 1.9% annual pace in October, while the Survey of Employment Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) indicated employment rose a marginal 0.8% annual rate.
In contrast to these national figures, retail sales in BC climbed an impressive 6.3% over the past 12 months, while the SEPH recorded employment rising by 2.5% in the province.
While the Canadian economy continues to grapple with the fallout from a collapse in oil prices, the BC economy has been largely unscathed and is leading the country in these key indicators.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.