It has been a lengthy wait, but the release of provincial gross domestic product (GDP) estimates confirmed our expectation that B.C. indeed led the country in economic growth in 2015. Provincial GDP expanded 3% last year, compared to 0.9% nationally, and aligned with our expectations. Ontario was the second-strongest performer with a 2.5% expansion while Alberta was the weakest link with a 4% contraction.
eading growth sectors included retail sales (6.3%), finance and insurance (9.7%) and real estate, rental and leasing (4.9%). With retail growth led by building materials and gardening stores, and gain in these other sectors, it is no stretch to suggest that a strong housing market and rising home prices were a key contributor, in addition to a strengthening labour market and more tourism activity.
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