Quarterly budget update: B.C. finance minister downgrades economic projections
Finance Minister Carole James releases the provincial public accounts report during a press conference at the press gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VICTORIA - British Columbia's finance minister is downgrading economic projections with a forecast of lower growth and a reduced budget surplus.
Carole James presented the revised financial forecast in her first quarterly budget update.
She says global economic uncertainty, the struggling forest industry, dips in commodity exports and lower retail sales have prompted the economic revisions.
B.C.'s economic growth is now forecast at 1.7 per cent this year and 1.9 per cent in 2020, down from earlier projections.
James says B.C.'s budget surplus for 2019-2020 is predicted to be $179 million, a drop of $95 million from the estimate in February's budget.
The minister says the provincial economy remains strong with an increase in employment of more than three per cent.