P.G. Economy “On A Roll” says Conference Board of Canada
Prince George, B.C.- Prince George has the strongest economic outlook among sever mid-sized Canadian cities studied by the Conference Board of Canada.
The Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2016 report cites “Renewed gains in construction output, steady growth in the forestry industry, and ongoing strength in the finance, insurance, and real estate industry will help real GDP growth in Prince George reach 2.4 per cent in 2016.”
The other cities included in the study are Timmins Ontario, Sault Ste Marie, Brandon Manitoba, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer Alberta.
According to the report, Prince George’s economy is forecast “to make significant gains over the next two years (following growth of 2.6 per cent last year), with real gross domestic product (GDP) rising by 2.4 per cent this year and 2.8 per cent in 2017.”
Other highlights from the report:
- Multiple-family housing starts are set to hit a 20-year high in 2016, boosted by the start of construction on the 173-unit RiverBend Seniors complex.
- Employment in the city is forecast to grow by 4.5 per cent this year, following an 8.2 per cent decline in 2015.
- Personal income per capita is forecast to top $50,000 per year for the first time in Prince George, higher than the BC average.
- Retail sales are poised to grow by 4.6% this year, again greater than the forecasted average for all of BC.
- Prince George’s finance, insurance, and real estate industry is poised to expand by 5.6 per cent in 2016, making the sector this year’s growth leader.
Mayor Lyn Hall says the report confirms what residents have already been sensing, “Just look at the previous few months: more than $60 Million in private sector dollars are being invested in the downtown area alone, between the RiverBend Seniors Community and the Courtyard by Marriott hotel announced last week. This week, Council heard we are issuing more building permits than the previous few years. (see previous story) What’s more, as a hub city, we are poised to benefit from the record number of projects proposed for Northern BC in the coming years.”
The report also notes Prince George’s increasingly diversified economy, with UNBC, the Northern Health Authority, and the College of New Caledonia helping to insulate the City from economic downturns.
In order to be part of the study, Prince George ( as did the other 6) paid $4,000 to have current data on the economy here and where it’s going.
The information will be used by P.G.’s Economic Development team says Economic Development Manager Melissa Barcellos “Current data is essential for the City’s economic development activities as it allows us to approach
potential investors with recent and reliable evidence about the local economic situation and that Prince George is an excellent place to invest.”