LNG Canada go-ahead boosts B.C. growth forecast to 2.5%: business council

The official go-ahead for the $40-billion LNG Canada project in northwestern B.C. is poised to give the provincial economy a sizeable boost in the coming year.

The final investment decision announced weeks ago has prompted economists at the Business Council of B.C. (BCBC) to raise their provincial growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.5% for 2019, according to its third-quarter outlook released on October 25.

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Global economic growth, greater certainty resulting from the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and B.C.’s strong job market have also positioned the province “near the top of the provincial growth rankings.”

 The report comes the day after the Bank of Canada raised its key rate 25 basis points to 1.75%.

“Rising global and domestic interest rates are a key factor shaping the outlook for Canada and B.C.,” BCB vice-president of policy David Williams said in a statement.

“B.C.’s real estate economy and consumer spending are already feeling the effects of higher borrowing costs. More adjustment is in store as many mortgages come due for renewal over the next five years.”

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