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Insight Newsletter: November/December 2021 Edition

Stay up to date on relevant and timely business and economic news and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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National Economic InsightsNational Economic Insights

In September 2021, Statistics Canada's preliminary estimate for September 2021 GDP showed flat growth, which points to overall third quarter growth registering about 2% on an annualized basis. Economists indicate that the middle quarters of 2021 were fairly disappointing in terms of economic growth, with the economy contracting in the second quarter and underwhelming in the third.

 

In October, the Bank of Canada recommitted to maintain its overnight rate at 0.25%. This key policy rate has been at 0.25% after Canada’s central bank cut rates three times in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and as the national economy went into a historic downturn. The Bank identified on October 27, 2021 that the overnight rate would remain at 0.25% until slack in the economy is absorbed and inflation sustainably returns to its 2%. The Bank projects that will not occur until near the third quarter of 2022.

 

As supply chain shortages and workforce challenges are limiting the economy's productive capacity in the short-term, the Bank of Canada projects upwards pressures on consumer prices. As a result, the Bank expects inflation to remain elevated into 2022.

 

In October, the federal government announced $7.4B for new recovery initiatives that will go into effect October 25, 2021 through May 7, 2022 to provide targeted support to businesses and industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic including tourism and hospitality. Effective October 23, 2021 many federal benefit programs put in place in response to the pandemic have not been extended. Key federal programs that are now closed include Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, and Canada Recovery Hiring Program.


Provincial Economic UpdateProvincial Economic Update

BC Government’s Minister of Finance, Selena Robinson, announced on September 13, 2021 that forecasts are signaling a faster, stronger recovery for British Columbia largely attributable to stronger-than-anticipated recovery in many sectors of BC’s economy.  British Columbia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to see continued strength, growing by 6% in 2021 and, as the recovery continues, by 4% in 2022. Higher retail sales, exports, housing activity, as well as total employment all contribute to an improved outlook for British Columbia. Retail sales in BC for 2021 have remained strong and are 13% above pre-pandemic levels, a trend that is expected to continue into 2022. As of September 2021, BC’s employment grew to 2.682 million jobs hitting the highest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Also for the fourth consecutive month, British Columbia was the only province with employment notably above its pre-pandemic levels. For September, BC’s unemployment continued to decline to reach 5.9%, the lowest level since the pandemic began.  The national unemployment rate sat at 6.9% for September 2021. The BC Government is slated to release its new long-term Economic Plan in Q1 2022. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, it will continue to cause uncertainty in Canada and across the globe thereby imposing a level of volatility with all fiscal and economic outlooks.


Business Community InsightsBusiness Community Insights

The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce plays a strong local, provincial, and national role in policy development and advocacy to support business competitiveness and Canada’s business environment. Of its 1,000-plus membership, 70% of its members consist of businesses that employ 20 people or less.  The Township of Langley is also supported by other business associations and sector organizations that equally serve the community to inform a diverse, sustainable economy. In summer 2021, the BC Chamber of Commerce submitted its “Big Thinking for Small Business” report to the BC Government that identifies a path forward from the COVID-19 pandemic that includes three priority areas for government to target: 

1.    Let’s Compete

  • Support a competitive tax system and regulation changes that supports recovery and growth
  • Trade-enabling transportation and gateway infrastructure to keep people and supply chains moving
  • Invest in natural resource projects

2.    Let’s Innovate

  • Incentivize and accelerate investments in technology and innovation
  • Transition to a lower-carbon economy to support the environment and create jobs
  • Broaden economy through emerging markets and opportunities

3.    Let’s Be Inclusive

  • Prioritize Indigenous economic reconciliation
  • Address housing affordability for growth that builds communities
  • Get British Columbians back to work
  • Increase accessibility including to reliable and affordable childcare

Economics Pulse in the CommunityEconomics Pulse in the Community

BC Stats reports that in September 2021, British Columbia's consumer price index (CPI) was 3.5% higher (unadjusted) than in September 2020.  For Canada, CPI was up 4.4% (unadjusted) in September 2021 – with the largest increases in Quebec and Maritime provinces.

 

BC Stats reports that the cost of food has climbed 3.5% from September 2020.  The prices for meals purchased from restaurants (+2.6%) and groceries purchased from stores (+4.0%) both increased when compared to 2020. On a year-over-year basis, the cost of shelter went up in September 2021 (+5.2%) as the cost of homeownership (+6.3%) and renting (+1.4%) increased. As the price for gasoline (+25.4%) climbed, the cost of public transportation (+10.8%) rose in 2021.  Compared to 2020, BC Stats reports consumers paid more for recreation, education and reading (+4.0%), health and personal care (+2.7%), and alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (+1.9%), while the cost of household operations and furnishings (+0.0%) was stable.
While the cost of goods has been increasing so has the number of job opportunities in the Township. Referencing job posting data rendered through analytics software Hiring Demand, from January-September 2021 inclusive, there was an average of 1,075 job postings per month in Langley.  This is considerably higher than the 830-monthly average for the same period in 2020. The most frequently job opportunities posted in 2021 to-date are in Sales and Service, Trades, and Business Administration professionals for Accommodation and Food Service, Manufacturing, or Retail Trade businesses.

 

Across all Langley job postings in 2021 to-date, the average reported hourly wage is $22.98/hour which is greater than minimum wage in BC which sits at $15.20/hour.  Some types of jobs noted increases in average pay in 2021 while others did not. For example, Sales and Services jobs showed a 4.1% decrease to the average posted hourly wage compared to the same period in 2020, while Healthcare jobs showed a 6.1% increase.

 

Additional information and charts pertaining to this data.


Support Local Businesses | BC Buy Local Week Starts November 29, 2021Support Local Businesses | BC Buy Local Week Starts November 29, 2021

The average Canadian spends ~ $1,600 on travel, food, drink, and gifts during the festive season.  This year, BC Buy Local Week takes place November 29 through December 5.  By shifting just 1% of our annual spending to local businesses, it keeps money circulating in our economy that equally supports our business community and local jobs for local talent. 

Here’s 7 ways you can Buy Local during the 7 days of 2021’s BC Buy Local Week:

 

  1. Buy Local Online – Support local businesses from the comfort of your home
  2. Shop In-Store – Visit your favorite storefronts this holiday season 
  3. Give Experiences – Support service businesses including sport, entertainment, accommodation, and tourism 
  4. Support Communities – Visit shopping streets & events for unique goods and services
  5. Put Local on your Table – Choose local ingredients, food & drink products, catering services 
  6. Buy Local Made – Support BC artists, makers, and manufacturers 
  7. Buy Local Gift Cards – Give gift cards to local stores, shops, salons, and restaurants
     

To learn more, visit BC Buy Local Week and to find local services and businesses in your neighborhood, visit Tourism Langley


Manufacturing Connection Day, September 29 - Advancing Innovation in Smart ManufacturingWe're Here to Help Your Business

The Township's Economic Investment and Development team remains available to help support our local business community. Contact Val, Nav, or Dustin via email to invest@tol.ca or call us at 604-533-6084. For general Township COVID-19 updates visit tol.ca/covid19.