Here is a copy of the TOP 10 from Pat Bell
What an exciting week for Mackenzie and Prince George this week with the Olympic Torch coming through our towns. Friday night saw the biggest crowd I have ever seen in Prince George. Estimates ranged from 5,000 to 15,000 and the real number was in between those places I’m sure. On to Mackenzie for Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m... Despite the early time 800 people turned out to cheer the 5 Torch Runners and celebrate the Olympic flame.
With January coming to an end the Throne Speech is just around the corner. That means another busy travel week for me with Cabinet and Caucus meetings thrown in for good measure.
The economic indicators around us appear to be sending a message that we are in recovery. As challenging as it’s been for the past 16 months BC is well positioned to come out of the recession and this week’s Top 10 focuses on these economic indicators.
Have a great week!
Pat Bell – MLS Prince George North
1. Canfor Mackenzie has been advertising for employee’s to fill its second shift. What better indicator can you get than a “Help Wanted” ad!
2. In December 2009, B.C.'s average weekly wage was over $815, well above the national average. The average weekly wage has risen by over $166 - or nearly 26 per cent - since 2001, when it was $648.
3. According to Statistics Canada, the value of residential building permits issued in British Columbia during November 2009 was $536 million, the highest monthly total since September 2008.
(Statistics Canada, Building Permits, October 2009)
4. In its Autumn 2009 Provincial Outlook, the Conference Board of Canada forecasts B.C. to record 4.2 per cent real GDP growth in 2010, the highest rate in the country. In addition, the Conference Board predicts British Columbia’s retail sales, GDP per capita, disposable income per capita and employment rate will be above the national average in 2010.
(Conference Board of Canada, Autumn 2009 Provincial Outlook)
5. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business reports that the confidence level of British Columbia’s small and medium businesses is the highest in Canada - more than eight points above the national average - and the second most optimistic results recorded in the province since December 2007.
(Canadian Federation of Independent Business, December 2009 Business Barometer Index)
6. Canada's largest banks - RBC, CIBC, BMO, Scotiabank and TD - along with the country’s largest credit union, the Desjardins Group, all forecast British Columbia’s real GDP to either lead Canada or be one of the top three provinces in percentage growth in 2010.
7. The British Columbia Real Estate Association reports more than 5,700 homes were sold in B.C. during December - an increase of 132 per cent compared with December 2008, and the highest sales number for the month in 20 years. Overall, more than 85,000 homes changed hands in British Columbia during 2009, a 23 per cent increase over 2008’s sales figures.
(B.C. Real Estate Association - December 2009 MLS® Sales Report)
8. In December 2009, China granted Canada approved destination status, allowing tour operators and travel agents in China to advertise and organize tours in Canada and British Columbia. Approved destination status could increase Chinese tourism to B.C. by 25 per cent annually over the next few years.
9. British Columbia’s population increased by more than 24,000 people during the third quarter of 2009 and was 4,479,934 as of Oct. 1, 2009. During this period, 11,938 immigrants arrived in British Columbia, accounting for 15.2 per cent of all immigrants landing in Canada.
10. All 3 of the global credit rating agencies have reaffirmed BC’s credit rating as “AAA”. This is a huge confidence boost to investors!