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West at a Glance - October 2017 Issue

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Inside this issue

Provincial Government Developments





News and Opinion Highlights

Key Economic Indicators

British Columbia




Last Update
Gross Domestic Product
Real GDPFootnote 1  (2007 $billions, forecast) $225 $301 $60 $58 $1,726 2017
% ch. from year earlier 2.7% 4.3% 2.7% 2.8% 2.9%  
Labour Market
Employment (SA, thousands) 2,473 2,279 568 644 18,454 Sep-17
Change from previous month -6.7 -7.8 0.0 -5.5 10  
% ch. from previous month -0.3% -0.3% 0.0% -0.8% 0.1%  
% ch. from year earlier 3.6% 0.6% -0.2% 1.9% 1.8%  
Unemployment Rate (SA,%) 4.9% 7.9% 6.2% 5.5% 6.2% Sep-17
percentage points from previous month -0.2 -0.2 -0.2 0.6 0  
percentage points from year earlier -0.7 -0.8 -0.7 -0.9 -0.8  
Regular EI beneficiaries (SA) 50,980 71,460 18,140 17,450 536,550 Jul-17
Change from previous month 740 130 -550 1,840 6,750  
% ch. from previous month 1.5% 0.2% -2.9% 11.8% 1.3%  
% ch. from previous year -8.8% -33.5% -14.1% 13.1% -8.7%  
Average weekly earnings $941.26 $1,125.07 $1,003.02 $909.02 $970.47 Jul-17
Change from previous year $29.72 $1.14 $18.29 $23.23 $17.45  
CPI (y/y) 2.0% 1.1% 1.7% 0.9% 1.4% Aug-17
CPI (y/y) previous month 1.9% 1.0% 0.8% 0.9% 1.2% Jul-17
Consumers and Business
Retail Sales (SA, $millions) $7,199 $6,763 $1,660 $1,633 $49,130 Jul-17
% ch. from previous month 0.7% -0.6% 1.3% 0.2% 0.4%  
% ch. from previous year 12.3% 9.5% 5.9% 3.7% 7.8%  
Manufacturing Sales (SA, $millions) $4,186 $5,765 $1,267 $1,539 $52,511 Jul-17
% ch. from previous month -1.6% -3.4% 1.2% -2.4% -2.6%  
% ch. from previous year 7.0% 9.7% 13.5% 11.9% 3.4%  
Building Permits (SA, $millions) $1,245 $1,102 $184 $193 $7,543 Aug-17
% ch. from previous month -9.9% 6.2% 24.4% -18.8% -5.5%  
% ch. from previous year 5.7% 0.7% 17.5% -25.1% 0.6%  
Housing Starts (SAAR, thousands) 40 30 4 6 217 Sep-17
% ch. from previous month 6.3% 12.7% -45.6% -13.3% -3.9%  
% ch. from previous year -17.1% 2.0% -20.5% 23.7% -0.8%  
International Trade
Merchandise Exports ($millions) $3,600 $8,143 $2,044 $1,058 $39,825 Aug-17
% ch. from previous month 5.0% 6.5% -3.7% 1.3% 6.9%  
% ch. from previous year 4.0% 15.2% 9.3% 2.6% 0.2%  
Merchandise Imports ($millions) $4,524 $2,290 $974 $1,776 $47,937 Aug-17
% ch. from previous month 0.3% 3.8% 3.0% 9.6% 8.6%  
% ch. from previous year 5.0% 17.8% 42.3% 5.5% 3.3%  
Population (estimate) 4,817,160 4,286,134 1,163,925 1,338,109 36,708,083 Q3 2017
% ch. from previous year 1.3% 1.2% 1.3% 1.5% 1.2%  
Largest Cities (CMAs) Vancouver


Upcoming Events

Event Description Location Date
2017 Fastest Growing Companies Reception Business in Vancouver will host a networking reception to highlight the achievements of companies across BC who have shown remarkable growth over the past five years. Vancouver, BC October 11, 2017: Vancouver, B.C.
4th Annual Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Show The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Show offers networking opportunities for businesses and individuals, as well as speeches from industry leaders. Vancouver, BC October 24,2017: Vancouver, B.C.
Vancouver Island Economic Summit 2017 The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance will host a forum for businesses and stakeholders to understand the state of the island economy. Nanaimo, BC October 25-26, 2017: Nanaimo, B.C.
BC Business Summit 2017: Scaling Up British Columbia The Business Council of British Columbia will host business, First Nations, academia and community leaders, and decision makers from across the province to explore strategies for scaling up the size, talent, competitiveness and influence of businesses in British Columbia. Vancouver, BC November 1, 2017: Vancouver, B.C.
Pacific North West Economic Region (PNWER): 2017 Economic Leadership Forum The PNWER Economic Leadership Forum will bring together regional legislators and business leaders from Canada and the US to discuss major topics in regional economic development. Victoria, BC November 5-7, 2017: Victoria, B.C.
Canada's Economic Infrastructure The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will host a talk where David Dodge, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, will discuss what lies ahead for the Canadian economy and the infrastructure sector, and what it means for Greater Vancouver and BC. Vancouver, BC November 22, 2017: Vancouver, B.C.
2017 Calgary Energy Roundtable Hosted by The Energy Roundtable, the event brings together industry and government leaders to discuss Canada's energy future. Calgary, AB October 11, 2017: Calgary, Alberta
2017 Economic Partnership Summit Hosted by Economic Partnership, the summit brings together businesses, leaders and Indigenous people primarily in Treaty 6 Territory to look at best practices and models that work, and build partnerships. Lloydminster, AB October 11, 2017: Lloydminster, Alberta
Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) 2017 Electricity Conference The conference will discuss the opportunities and challenges to greening the Canadian electricity system. Calgary, AB October 16-17, 2017: Calgary, Alberta
2017 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference Hosted by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, this community-led, industry-driven, international tourism conference will bring together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal tourism entrepreneurs and community leaders. Calgary, AB November 7-8, 2017: Calgary, Alberta
Spark 2017 Hosted by Emissions Reduction Alberta and Alberta Innovates, the conference connects researchers, innovators, investors, experts and innovation advisors to advance clean technology and bio-industrial solutions toward commercialization. Edmonton, AB November 6-8, 2017: Edmonton, Alberta
The Walrus Talks: Disruption Hosted by The Walrus Foundation, the event will feature seven speakers for seven minutes each on how cities are shaped by changes in media, technology, culture and more. Calgary, AB November 9, 2017: Calgary, Alberta
National Summit on Indigenous Youth and Natural Resource Development Hosted by the Conference Board of Canada, the event will bring the perspectives, needs and aspirations of Indigenous youth to the forefront of Canada's discourse on sustainable natural resource development. Calgary, AB November 21-22, 2017: Calgary, Alberta
2017 Alberta Export Awards The Alberta Export Awards, presented by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and JWN, recognize the innovative approaches and unique contributions of Alberta-registered export companies across all regions of the province. Calgary, AB November 23, 2017: Calgary, Alberta
Thought Leadership Series breakfast featuring Jason Langrish, Executive Director for the Canada-Europe Roundtable for Business The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is hosting a breakfast discussion with Jason Langrish, Executive Director for the Canada-Europe Roundtable for Business. The event targets Saskatchewan business leaders and entrepreneurs that are (or plan to be) engaged in trade with Europe. Regina, SK October 13, 2017: Regina, Saskatchewan
2017 Business to Business Expo Presented by the Regina Chamber of Commerce, the Business to Business EXPO tradeshow is an opportunity to meet members of Regina's business community and showcase products to a large audience. Regina, SK October 19, 2017: Regina, Saskatchewan
Southern Manitoba Manufacturers' Summit This annual event provides a forum for Southern Manitoba manufacturers of all sizes and sub-sectors to explore a balanced approach to long-term social, environmental and economic objectives. Morden, MB October 26, 2017: Morden, Manitoba
The Hemp Fest Cannabis Expo The Expo will feature talks and presentations from industry leaders and exhibitors showcasing industry-related products and services, including licensed Producers, Dispensaries, Nutrient companies, Hydroponics Manufacturers, Medical Clinics, and Health and Wellness providers. Winnipeg, MB November 4, 2017: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Western Business Outlook 2018 The Conference Board of Canada will present its forecast into 2018 and beyond. Winnipeg, MB November 7, 2017: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Grain World Conference The conference will feature panelists and expert speakers from the grain industry and provide global networking opportunities with influential delegates in the agricultural sector. Winnipeg, MB November 14-15, 2017: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Innovating at the Speed of Light The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce will host a luncheon session featuring Elyse Allan, CEO of GE Canada. The talk will focus on automation of our workplaces, the state of global competitiveness, and what Winnipeg employers and the workforce must learn to thrive in the Digital Revolution. Winnipeg, MB November 24, 2017: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Western Canada Cleantech Innovation Forum The forum will feature keynote speakers, plenary sessions, technical concurrent sessions and a special edition of the Green Dragon's Lair. Winnipeg, MB November 29-30, 2017: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Western Economic Diversification Canada

The role of Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is to improve the long-term economic competitiveness of Western Canada by supporting programs and services that enhance innovation, business development, and community economic development. In addition, the department undertakes policy, advocacy and coordination activities in order to advance the interests of Western Canada in national economic decision-making.
Please note this will be the last edition for West at a Glance in 2017. A new quarterly newsletter will be launched in January 2018.
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