The B.C. Economic Forecast Council is predicting provincial GDP growth will be just slightly above the Canadian average in 2013 and beyond.
The 14-member group of B.C. economists, business leaders and bankers calculates this year's provincial GDP will come in at 2.1% – down slightly from January's forecast of 2.2%.
The council projects B.C.'s real GDP growth in 2013 to be 2.2% (the Canadian average is predicted at 2.1%).
It projects 2.6% provincial GDP growth in 2014 and 2.6% between 2015 and 2017. That's just 0.1% above the Canadian averages for those years.
The council based its projections on a number of global factors – including the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the recovery of the American economy – as well as domestic ones, including the potential economic impacts of liquefied natural gas industry, rising household debt, tax competitiveness and skills shortages in the workforce.
The council's advice is sought twice a year as part of the provincial budget process.
"Our government is committed to balancing the budget in 2013-14," Finance Minister Mike de Jong said following the release of the council's projections.
"A balanced budget shows the world B.C.'s economy is stable, secure and ripe for investment. It also protects our triple-A credit rating which allows us to continue to focus our investment in priority areas, including schools, health-care facilities and roads, which support job creation and benefit B.C. communities and families."