British Columbia took over as Canada’s economic star Thursday, with government figures showing it grew the fastest among 10 provinces last year while Alberta’s output fell to last place on lower oil prices.
Gross domestic product grew 3 per cent in B.C. in 2015, the fastest since 2006, on gains in real estate, retailing and manufacturing. Output in Alberta fell by 4 per cent on the energy rout, making it Canada’s worst performer. The oil-producing province had led a year earlier, when it posted 4.5 per cent growth.
British Columbia was also the top province in a jobs report last week, with its unemployment rate falling to the lowest in Canada for the first time in records back to 1976. The changing fortunes of the two westernmost provinces will continue this year, with economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicting Alberta’s GDP will fall 0.9 per cent compared with 2.6 percent growth in British Columbia.