VICTORIA, B.C. – Projections from the Economic Forecast Council suggest B.C. could experience a slight rebound and moderate growth in the economy this year, with further growth expected in 2022.

The council estimates the province’s real GDP dropped by 5.1 per cent in 2020, and they predict increases of 4.7 and 4.3 per cent in the next two years.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson says B.C. has weathered a year unlike any other.

“The pandemic has required significant changes to the way we conduct day-to-day business, and those changes have affected workers, businesses, households and the economy as a whole,” says Robinson.

“I am encouraged to hear the economic forecasts signal our government is on the right path and poised to seize the opportunities that recovery will offer, but we also need to be realistic about the long road ahead. Our priority will continue to be responding to the needs of people, businesses and communities, during the pandemic response and into recovery.”

The economic low point of the pandemic hit in April 2020. Since then, the province had nine consecutive months of job growth. Unemployment numbers sit above pre-pandemic levels, but are below the national average.

According to a release, British Columbia is the only province with ‘AAA’ credit ratings from three international rating agencies.

Issues and events discussed by the council, which affected forecasts, include short and medium-term COVID-19 impacts, policies and vaccination timelines, housing, and uncertain global trade outlook.

The Economic Forecast Council comprises 13 independent forecasters from banks, financial institutions, and independent organizations across Canada. The council gathers once a year with the minister of finance to offer economic advice leading up to each year’s budget.