British Columbia’s gross domestic product is expected to show respectable growth this year, as forestry, the sick man of the provincial economy, returns to life, Royal Bank of Canada says.
The province should grow by 3.5 per cent in 2010, its strongest performance since 1996, the bank said in a report released Thursday.
B.C. and Quebec will share the same level of growth in 2010, giving the two provinces the country’s third-fastest growth rates this year behind Newfoundland’s 4.1-per-cent expansion and the 3.8-per-cent growth foreseen for each of Ontario and Saskatchewan, RBC said.
B.C.’s recovery from its 2.4-per-cent contraction last year will be sustained next year when it grows by 3.3 per cent, RBC said.
“One of the more encouraging developments in the provincial economy this year is the return to life of the long-suffering forest-products sector,” the report said.
“In particular, the softwood-lumber industry is benefiting from market conditions that are finally showing signs of turning around, with prices recently hitting four-year highs.”