Greater Victoria's economy will bounce forward significantly starting next year, says a new report by the Conference Board of Canada.
Our region is the only major city in Canada that the Conference Board expects will post a gain in retail sales in 2020. Retail sales fell 3.5% in the second quarter but have since rebounded. The forecast is for 2.7% increase this year despite the pandemic. Next year looks even better as the forecast is for growth of 6.9%.
It's not an entirely rosy picture, as the Conference Board says it will take years for Canada to shrug off the 11.5% contraction that the economy suffered as a result of shutting down in the second quarter. Governments also face difficult decisions in the years ahead as they will need to rein in spending.
"No one has a crystal ball, but The Chamber is encouraged by the detailed forecast offered by the Conference Board of Canada," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "Our region was thriving before COVID-19, and we know the fundamentals remain in place for us to create an even more resilient economy in the next few years."