Less optimistic outlook tempered by fewer worries over employment

TORONTO, Feb. 8 /CNW/ – Economic confidence has eased in British Columbia with fewer residents believing that the national economy will improve this year (46 per cent) compared to those who believed this last year (54 per cent), according to the January 2011 RBC Canadian Outlook Index (RBC CCO). B.C. residents are not as concerned about job anxiety as they were a year ago, however, with only 19 per cent expressing worries about job losses or lay-offs compared to 32 per cent in last January’s RBC CCO.

“B.C. residents are feeling more positive about their employment prospects, which we’re expecting to see reflected in a strong B.C. economy over the next year,” said Graham MacLachlan, regional president, British Columbia, RBC. “We’re also seeing an increasing number of British Columbians expressing optimism about their own personal financial situation. As always, it’s important to sit down with a financial advisor to get a tailored plan and a budget in place to better manage your personal finances and achieve your short and long term goals.”

RBC Economics is forecasting that the B.C. economy will grow during 2011, but at a slightly slower pace than this past year. “Strong demand for natural resources will help sustain job growth in B.C. at a moderate rate,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. “We expect to see overall real GDP growth of 2.9 per cent in 2011, strengthening to 3.2 in 2012.”

Other provincial highlights from the January 2011 RBC CCO include:

  • Economic Outlook: Despite the decline from last year, more B.C. residents expect the national economy to improve over the next year (46 per cent) compared to the national average (43 per cent). Economic optimism is highest in Alberta (61 per cent), followed by Saskatchewan/Manitoba (49 per cent).
  • Personal Financial Situation Outlook: The percentage of people in B.C. who expect to see an improvement in their personal financial situation over the next year sits at 38 per cent, down from 43 per cent in 2010. People in Ontario (36 per cent) and Quebec (35 per cent) are the least confident that they will see improvements in their financial situation in 2011.
  • Spending Outlook on Major Purchases: Over the next year, 20 per cent of British Columbians plan to spend more on major purchases, on par with the national average. Atlantic Canadians are the most likely to increase their major purchase spending (24 per cent), while Quebec are the least likely to increase this spending (17 per cent).

Pam Martin, Invis, Mortgage Broker, Best Mortgage Rates, Kelowna,Vernon, Penticton, Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada