Conference Board of Canada predicts Vancouver will lead Canada in economic growth this year

The board’s Metropolitan Outlook: Winter 2016 report predicts real gross domestic product growth of 3.3 per cent this year, following growth of nearly four per cent per cent last year.

If the prediction is accurate, it would be the third consecutive year that growth has exceed three per cent in B.C.

It also anticipates that Abbotsford-Mission and Victoria will be among the top 10 metropolitan economies, with growth of 2.8 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively. That compares with the national economy, forecast to grow just 1.8 per cent this year. 

“Vancouver’s economy performed exceptionally well last year and this trend is expected to continue in 2016,” said Ian Arcand, associate director of the Centre for Municipal Studies, in a statement Thursday. 

The report predicts the fastest growing industries in Metro Vancouver will be construction, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing. As well, export industries like manufacturing and tourism in all three cities are benefiting from the low Canadian dollar and solid U.S. demand.

Vancouver’s growth in the construction sector will be fuelled by large mixed-use and non-residential projects, such as new towers, expansion of the Vancouver International Airport, home construction, according to the forecast. As well, the low Canadian dollar should also help generate stronger tourism activity and make this year one of Vancouver’s busiest cruise ship seasons.

As for the Abbotsford-Mission region, manufacturing and resources, agriculture and utilities sectors are predicted to benefit from a low Canadian dollar.

The board also predicts that Victoria’s economy will post its strongest gains since 2007 this year, bolstered by a provincial budget surplus.

The Conference Board of Canada’s annual forecast looks at 28 Canadian census metropolitan areas.


While the Metro Vancouver market ended 2023 in balanced market territory, conditions in January began shifting back in favour of sellers as the pace of newly listed properties did not keep up with the jump in home sales.

Phil Chang
Personal Real Estate Corporation