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Infoline is BC Stats’ free information bulletin. Published since 1995, it has become an essential tool for executives, managers, analysts, libraries, businesses and media. It is our most widely distributed and timely review of statistical releases and events that shape or describe the economic and social fabric of British Columbia.

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  • Issue 16-102

    Housing Starts

    The number of housing starts in British Columbia’s urban areas (population of 10,000 and over) continued to oscillate in April, rising 14.4% (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) after falling 20.9% in March. This was the sixth consecutive month where rates of change reversed direction. The increase in April was driven by strong growth in starts of row houses (+20.4%) and apartments (+23.7%), which more than offset declines in starts of single detached (-4.0%) and semi-detached (-18.4%) homes.

    Nationwide, housing starts fell 4.6%, which was entirely due to a reduction in building activity in Central Canada, as the Prairie ...

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  • Issue 16-101

    Consumer Price Index Highlights

    British Columbia’s consumer price index (CPI) climbed 1.8% (unadjusted) in April, compared to the same month of the previous year. This marks a slight uptick in the year-over-year rate of inflation since March, when it was 1.7%.

    According to Statistics Canada, the overall annual inflation rate of 1.8% declines to 1.6% when food is excluded from the index, and increases to 2.3% when energy is excluded.

    The overall cost of food rose by 3.5% since April of last year, with the cost of both groceries purchased from stores (+4.0%) and meals purchased from restaurants (+2.3%) increasing. ...

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  • Issue 16-100

    Retail Sales

    Sales by British Columbia retailers fell 1.1% in March (seasonally adjusted), following two straight months of increases. A slowdown in sales at new car dealers and gasoline stations was the primary reason for the decline. With the exception of Northwest Territories (+4.7%) and Prince Edward Island (+0.8%), all other regions of the country also experienced reductions, with an average drop of 1.0% in retail sales nationwide.

    Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 16-99

    Employment Insurance

    In March, the number of Employment Insurance (EI) beneficiaries in British Columbia decreased (-1.0%, seasonally adjusted) to 52,300 individuals.

    The number of beneficiaries declined for both the 15 to 24 years (-3.5%) and the 25 to 54 years (-1.1%) age groups, but there was a slight uptick in the number of EI beneficiaries within the 55 years and over age group (+0.3%). With respect to gender, the number of male beneficiaries declined in March (-1.8%) while there was a small increase in the number of female EI recipients (+0.5%) relative to February.

    Out of the four census metropolitan ...

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  • Issue 16-98

    Wholesale Sales

    Wholesale sales in British Columbia declined in March (-3.2%, seasonally adjusted) for a second consecutive month. In Canada as a whole, there was a decrease of 1.0%, with lower sales being recorded in five other provinces in addition to British Columbia. The largest gains in wholesale sales were reported in Quebec (+1.3%), while Saskatchewan experienced the largest decline (-4.1%).

    Data source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 16-97

    Visitor Entries

    The number of non-resident travellers entering Canada through British Columbia’s borders continued to climb (+0.8%, seasonally adjusted) in March. Compared to February, there was an increase (+2.9%) in the number of travellers from the United States entering British Columbia. However, the increase in American travellers was almost entirely offset by a steep decline in the number of travellers from countries other than the U.S. (-5.8%) during the same time period. This drop is largely attributable to a decrease in travellers entering B.C. from Asia (-12.5%), as well as smaller declines from Europe (-2.7%) and South America (-1.2%).

    Data ...

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  • Issue 16-96

    Manufacturing Sales

    After a decline in February, sales of goods produced by British Columbia’s manufacturers increased (+2.9%, seasonally adjusted) in the month of March. Strongest sales growth was exhibited by non-durable goods manufacturers (+6.9%), due largely in part to continued increase in shipments by food (+0.1%) and chemical manufacturers (+2.6%).

    On the other hand, durable goods manufacturers experienced another month of decreasing shipments (-0.2%). Despite sales growth exhibited by machinery (+4.0%) and wood product manufacturers (+0.9%), there were steep declines in sales for non-metallic mineral products (-9.3%) and transportation equipment manufacturers (-7.4%) in the month of March.

    With respect to ...

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  • Issue 16-95

    Gross Domestic Product by Industry

    British Columbia’s economy expanded 3.0%1 in 2015, with the province leading all other regions in terms of economic growth for the first time since 1997 (the first year for which comparable data are available). Ontario (+2.5%), Northwest Territories (+2.5%) and Manitoba (+2.3%) also posted strong growth in 2015.

    Nationally, real GDP increased a modest 0.9%, as five regions, including the two other territories, slipped into recession. Alberta (-4.0%), which has been ranked among the fastest-growing regions in the country since 2010, fell back to last place in 2015. The economies of Newfoundland and Labrador ...

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  • Issue 16-94

    New Housing Price Index - March 2016

    British Columbia saw the New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rise 0.3% in March, the tenth consecutive month with an increase. The NHPI was 3.8% higher than in March 2015. The land component of the index was unchanged compared to both February 2016 and March 2015; the increase in the NHPI was due to climbing prices for the house component.

    Vancouver’s NHPI was up 0.4% over February, and 4.2% compared to March 2015. In Victoria, the NHPI was unchanged from February 2016, and up a modest 0.2% year-over-year.

    Nationally, the NHPI rose 0.2% in ...

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  • Issue 16-93

    Crime Rates and Young Offenders

    In 2014, young adults (aged 18 to 24) were far more likely to be accused of a crime in British Columbia than were either youth (aged 12 to 17) or older adults (aged 25 and older). Excluding traffic offences, the crime rate for young adults was 4,628 per 100,000 persons, well above the rate for youth (3,071) and more than double the rate for older adults (2,200).

    Young adults were particularly more likely to commit violent crimes or drug offences compared to either youth or older adults. The violent crime rate for young adults was ...

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