The sun is expected to continue to shine on the economy of Vancouver Island according to a report released today by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, but perhaps not as brightly as last year. John McKinley/VI Free Daily

Economic summit says Vancouver Island economy remains rosy

But there are warning signs, according to a report by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance

The economic prospects of Vancouver Island are looking pretty good at the moment.

Just not quite as good as they looked in the fall of 2016.

That’s the verdict of the the third-annual State of the Island economic report unveiled this afternoon as the Vancouver Island Economic Summit wrapped up in Nanaimo.

RELATED: John Horgan addresses Vancouver Island Economic Summit

Susan Mowbray, an economist with MNP and the report’s author said many of the Island’s key economic indicators remain strong, however their rate of growth has slowed. And a few extenuating factors — locally and abroad — bear watching.

Foremost among the big picture items are the increases in Bank of Canada’s prime lending rate and the uncertainty surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Closer to home, while the demand for wood products remains strong, access to wood fibre means there has not been corresponding increases in wood production. Meanwhile, retail and service businesses are struggling to fill low-wage jobs in part because of a lack of affordable housing.

The growth in the number of international students and tourists coming here has slowed. The caveat of course it that those numbers are still very strong, unemployment is at some of the lowest levels in the province and the softwood situation has yet to put its feared dent in the forestry industry.

And the housing market is booming as our population growth continues in all sub-regions except the North Island.

“I don’t want anyone to think the Island economy won’t continue to go well; it will,” Mowbray said. “The outlook remains rosy. It’s just not quite as rosy as it was a year ago.”

Just Posted

Ucluelet approves RVs as temporary housing solution for fish plant workers

“We are hoping for the best. Everybody has to support each other here.”

Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce champions unique staff housing solution

“It was a win-win situation for all of us.”

Tofino mayor cheers provincial government’s plastics survey

Mayors of Tofino, Victoria, Squamish and Rossland collaborate on letter.

Youth lead Ucluelet Cemetery nameplate project

Students navigate maps and scour local archives over three years to honour deceased.

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read