Northern B.C. to lead province in economic growth: report

Looking for a future? Or at least a decent job? Buy a parka and a thick pair of mittens and head north.

That’s the word from Central 1 Credit Union, which said Wednesday that northern B.C. will enjoy the province’s strongest economic growth both this year and next.

“We’re in the beginning of a transition phase in northern B.C. and central B.C.,” Central 1 chief economist Helmut Pastrick said of the company’s report, entitled Economic Analysis of B.C.

“In 2013, this will become even more apparent. Certainly, this will be a source of good job growth.”

Pastrick said demand for commodities — including coal, natural gas and copper — will drive northern growth, but the Lower Mainland will also benefit through providing such things as transportation, professional services, goods and administration services.

According to the report, the Lower Mainland has accounted for most of the province’s economic growth since the 2008 recession, but that’s about to change with signs of the northern turnaround already evident and prospects for new investment growing quickly.

The report concluded that B.C.’s three northern economic regions will see “above-trend growth.”

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