In October, housing starts and new listings in BC were flat, while home sales began rising again. Rising sales in all regions of the province reversed the “calming trend” which had occurred since peaks in March. Rental rates remain elevated and continue to trend upwards in Victoria and Vancouver relative to pre-pandemic levels amid generally high consumer price appreciation.
Retail sales in BC rose in September to a fresh record, with sales 6.7 per cent above the same month last year. As of November, restaurant reservations in Vancouver are near the highest level since the onset of the pandemic, at roughly 80 per cent of the pre-pandemic level. This contrasts with a drop in reservations in Montreal and Toronto relative to post-pandemic peaks in late August. In BC, Google’s measure of movement trends remains high, although below the peak in late summer, currently about 14 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. This easing in movement is due in part to seasonality.
Although aggregate employment in BC has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the accommodation and food service sector is about 13 per cent below the pre-pandemic level. The labour market has served high-income workers much better than low-income workers. Employment in high-income industries is about 9 per cent above pre-pandemic employment levels, while employment in low-income industries is about 5 per cent below pre-pandemic employment levels.
Manufacturing in BC rose slightly in September but remains below its peak due to a drop in the value of wood product sales. Exports in the province remained flat in September, while imports rose 3 per cent to a new record. Business confidence retreated slightly in October in BC, while consumer confidence rose slightly. Tourists into BC continued to rise after Americans were allowed to enter the country in August, hitting roughly 32 per cent of the February 2020 level in September.
For a more comprehensive overview of BC's economic recovery, click here.
For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.
COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard - November, 2021
Posted in: November 2021 Newsletter