Abbotsford-Mission economy to grow at second-fastest rate in Canada

Growth is expected to help push unemployment rates down and boost household incomes

The Abbotsford/Mission region is expected to have the second-fastest growing economy in Canada next year.

While growth across the country is expected to slow, the Conference Board of Canada (CBC) expects Abbotsford-Mission area to buck that trend. The area’s GDP is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent this year, and by 2.3 per cent annually through to 2022, according to the organization’s most-recent metropolitan outlook. That growth is expected to help push unemployment rates down, boost household income and draw more people to the region.

Last year saw the region under-perform the national average, with growth of just 1.9 per cent. That was below the region’s 10-year average and well below the 3.1 per cent gains by the country as a whole.

But the CBC expects a solid U.S. economy, a cheap Canadian dollar and growing business opportunities to help Abbotsford-Mission’s goods-producing and manufacturing sectors.

Last year saw construction begin on more than 1,700 homes in Abbotsford, a 24-year-high. With thousands of more housing starts coming over the coming years, the CBC expects the construction industry to perform well.

The report also notes that Abbotsford-Mission added 2,400 net new jobs just last year. Job gains are expected to be less than that next year, but pick up in the years to follow.

However, American trade policies pose some risk to the economy. With U.S. President Donald Trump regularly threatening to rip up trade agreements, the report notes that growth in industries that export products could slow. The region will feel some of the effects of stiff new duties on softwood lumber. But local manufacturers that rely on wood products shouldn’t be substantially affected because the duties don’t apply to value-added products like those made by timber manufacturer StructureCraft.

The report was published in March, before Kinder Morgan decided to halt non-essential work to expand its Trans Mountain Pipeline. The report doesn’t mention the controversial pipeline, but Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun and various business leaders said earlier this month the province’s resistance to the project threatens to create a “crisis of confidence” among those looking to invest in British Columbia and Canada.


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Abbotsford police arrest man suspected of using pepper-spray against another man

Police cruisers collide in pursuit of suspect fleeing on a stolen bicycle

Donor of stolen Chief Dan George sculpture frustrated at middle school

Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how nobody missed it

Voters will have their say whether Mission becomes a city

Alternative approval process should begin at the end of August

Purple fentanyl among items seized in drug bust in Abbotsford

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Meet Mission’s first Grand Inner Guard

Kari Senko is only the second woman elected to the Elks of Canada, grand executive

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Young balance-bikers race in B.C.’s inaugural Strider Cup

The course has several obstacles including ‘Mount Scary’ and the ‘Noodle Monster’

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Spiritleaf is just the second private pot shop in the Fraser Valley

Most Read