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Infoline Blog

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 17-09

    Building Permits

    The value of building permits issued by B.C. municipalities climbed (+14.7%, seasonally adjusted) in November, adding to a 12.5% boost in October. Residential permits jumped (+21.1%), building on the previous month’s (+11.3%) gain. Conversely, the value of non-residential permits dipped (-5.0%), as planned spending on commercial (-2.2%) and institutional and governmental (-17.9%) projects slowed.

    Abbotsford-Mission (-49.1%) and Victoria (-13.4%) saw double-digit declines while, in contrast, a hefty increase was seen in Vancouver (+30.7%). Kelowna (+2.7%) also saw the value of permits rise in November, though to a lesser degree.

    Nationally, permits stalled (-0.1%), as four provinces recorded declines. ...

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  • Issue 17-08

    Price of New Housing

    Relative to the same month of 2015, the cost of new housing in B.C.’s two largest cities continued to climb in November of 2016. Home builders in Vancouver received 4.4% more for their projects, and Victoria’s housing price index was up 5.1%. Both metropolitan areas saw relatively stable land values (+0.8% in Vancouver and +0.6% in Victoria), but the main boost came from increases in new housing prices (+6.0% and +7.1%, respectively).

    Nationally, the new housing price index was up 3.0% during the twelve-month period ending in November.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-07

    Housing Starts

    The number of housing starts in the province’s urban areas (population of 10,000+) continue to seesaw, sliding 10.2% (seasonally adjusted) in December, after surging (+74.9%) in the previous month.

    Canadian starts climbed 11.8%, as some provinces posted increases that were well into the double digits. Starts were 37.4% higher in Ontario and up 12.5% in Quebec. Meanwhile, along with B.C., Manitoba (-41.7%) and most of Atlantic Canada had fewer housing starts last month than in November.

    Data Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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  • Issue 17-06

    Labour Statistics Survey Highlights

    B.C. Highlights

     The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 5.8% in December, down from 6.1% in November. The gain in employment relative to the previous month (+17,000) was much greater than the increase in size of the labour force (+9,100). The unemployment rate was lower compared to December of 2015, when it was 6.7%. Job growth (+72,400) was greater than the growth in the labour force (+52,500) over the course of the past twelve months.

    Compared to November, there was an increase in both full-time (+2,100) and part-time (+14,900) jobs. Core working-age individuals (25 to 54 ...

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  • Issue 17-05

    Exports Highlights

    (Also available in PDF; associated tables are available in Excel)

    • B.C. exports rose 7.7% year-to-date to November.
    • Softwood lumber exports climbed 19.9% over the first 11 months of 2016.
    • Energy product exports jumped 16.2% year-to-date to November 2016.

    By Destination

    The value of B.C. origin commodity exports jumped 7.7% in the first eleven months of 2016, compared to the same period a year earlier. There was a substantial 11.6% rise in shipments to the United States and there were also increases in exports to several other major destinations, including Mainland China (+1.7%), Japan (+2.4%), South Korea ...

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  • Issue 17-04

    Highlights from the B.C. Small Business Quarterly

    In the third quarter of 2016, the number of self-employed in B.C. rose to its highest level since the second quarter of 2013. Self-employment levels were up 3.4% compared to the second quarter.

    The number of small businesses in B.C. (excluding self-employed persons) increased 1.1% (to 186,000) in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2015.

    There continues to be strong growth in the number of new business incorporations in the province. In the third quarter, there were 12.1% more new incorporations compared to the same quarter of 2015.

    Business bankruptcies ...

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  • Issue 17-03

    Industrial Product Price Index

    Canadian manufacturers received an average of 1.4% more for their products in November 2016 than in the same month of 2015. Primary non-ferrous metal products (+12.0%) and, to a lesser extent, fruit, vegetables, feed and other food products (+2.0%) had the strongest influence on the 12-month change, but 16 other major commodity groups also saw prices rise. Lower prices for meat, fish and dairy products (-2.2%) and energy and petroleum products (-1.1%) moderated the overall rise in the Industrial Product Price Index in November.

    Prices for raw materials climbed 4.1% in November compared to the same ...

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  • Issue 17-02

    Food Services and Drinking Places

    Sales in the province’s food services and drinking places industry slipped 1.6% (seasonally adjusted) in October 2016, following a 2.7% gain in the previous month.

    While sales slowed in October, they were still substantially higher (+10.5%) than the level recorded in October 2015. Nationally, sales inched down 0.2% to $5.5 billion, as full-service restaurants saw a 0.7% decrease in receipts.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-01

    Retail Sales

    Sales by retailers in the province sped up in October 2016, climbing 1.8% (seasonally adjusted), the most significant boost nationwide.

    Canadian sales were also up (+1.1%), with most regions posting increases. P.E.I. (-1.1%) and Saskatchewan (-0.1%) were the only provinces to record losses in October.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 16-240

    Consumer Price Index (CPI)

    British Columbia’s consumer price index (CPI) climbed 1.6% (unadjusted) in November, compared to the same month of the previous year. This marks a decrease in the year-over-year rate of inflation since October, when it was 2.1%.

    According to Statistics Canada, the overall annual inflation rate of 1.6% went up to 2.4% when both food and energy were excluded from the index.

    The overall cost of food decreased slightly (-0.9%) since November of last year. The cost of groceries purchased from stores decreased (-2.6%), while the cost of meals purchased from restaurants increased (+2.6%) during the same ...

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