Slowing economy sees BC commercial activity stabilize

By Steve Randall

Strength in employment and the financial markets helped offset decline in economic activity in British Columbia in the second quarter.

The Commercial Leading Indicator from the British Columbia Real Estate Association gained 0.7% amid continued stabilization of commercial activity in the province.

The CLI is a broad measure of change in the province’s commercial real estate sector and was unchanged in Q2 2019 from a year earlier.

Among its components, economic activity declined as better manufacturing stats were more than offset by weaker retail and wholesale trade.

Gains in employment in offices and manufacturing saw an overall gain for the employment component, while the financial markets’ performance saw a positive figure for the financial component as a narrowing of short-term credit spreads offset a decline in benchmark Canadian REIT prices (2.8% decline in benchmark index).

Over the past four quarters the CLI has remained relatively flat and the BC economy continued to slow in the first half of 2019.

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