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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 17-63

    Input Indicators of the British Columbia Technology Sector: 2016 Edition

    British Columbia’s high technology sector is a vital part of the province’s economy. This was reinforced in 2016, when the B.C. government launched a new tech strategy, including a $100-million technology innovation fund to fuel the venture capital market in the province. High technology firms tend to be innovative and efficient. They create goods and services that confer benefits on other parts of the economy by improving productivity and profitability, while at the same time providing relatively high-wage employment.

    The picture of British Columbia that emerges from the most recent ...

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  • Issue 17-62

    Consumer Price Index Highlights

    British Columbia’s consumer price index (CPI) climbed 2.3% (unadjusted) in February compared to the same month of the previous year, which is the same year-over-year rate of inflation measured in January.

    According to Statistics Canada, the overall annual inflation rate of 2.3% increases to 2.9% when food is excluded from the index, and declines to 1.8% when energy is excluded.

    The overall cost of food decreased (-0.9%) since February of last year. The cost of groceries purchased from stores went down (-2.7%), while the cost of meals purchased from restaurants increased (+2.7%) during the same time ...

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  • Issue 17-61

    Diabetes

    There were a reported 245,400 British Columbians aged 12 or older living with diabetes in 2015. This equates to 6.1% of the population in this age group, slightly lower than the rate for Canadians overall (6.9%). Across the country, rates were higher than the national average (6.9%, or 2.1 million people) in all four Atlantic Provinces and notably lower in Alberta (4.7%). Overall, males across the country were more likely (7.8%) than females (5.9%) to report having diabetes and people younger than 50 were much less likely to have diabetes than were those aged 50 or older.

    Data Source: ...

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  • Issue 17-60

    Quarterly Population Highlights

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

    B.C. Highlights

    The population of B.C. was estimated at 4,777,157 as of January 1, 2017, growing by 3,812 persons in the last quarter of 2016 (up 0.08% from October 1, 2016).

    Combined net in-migration from all sources (inter-provincial and international) totalled 2,632 persons during the fourth quarter of 2016, the largest fourth quarter net migration in the last five years. Broken down, net interprovincial in-migration contributed 3,292 persons to population growth while net international in-migration subtracted 660 persons, due to a decline in non-permanent residents ...

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  • Issue 17-59

    Employment Insurance (EI)

    The number of regular Employment Insurance (EI) recipients in B.C. was relatively unchanged (+0.0%, seasonally adjusted) at 55,340 in January. An increase in the number of male beneficiaries (+1.0%) was offset by a decline among female recipients (-1.5%).

    Nationally, the number was down slightly (-0.3%), with 567,930 Canadians receiving regular EI benefits in January.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-58

    Retail Sales

    Retail sales in British Columbia climbed at a slightly faster pace (+2.9% in January, seasonally adjusted) than the nation as a whole, which saw sales climb 2.2%. Across the country, retailers in P.E.I. had the largest jump in sales in January (+4.3%), followed by those in Saskatchewan (+3.7%).

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-57

    Highlights from the B.C. Small Business Quarterly, 4th Quarter 2016

    The number of small businesses in British Columbia (excluding self-employed persons) in December of 2016 was 188,057, up 1.9% from a year earlier.

    In the fourth quarter of 2016, new business incorporations jumped 10.8% from the level recorded in the same quarter of 2015. This boost marked the fifth consecutive double-digit year-over-year increase.

    Both consumer (-21.0%) and business (-27.7%) bankruptcies were down in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year earlier. The 34 business bankruptcies were among the lowest quarterly number recorded in recent years.

    Overall employment ...

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  • Issue 17-56

    Wholesale Sales

    Wholesale sales in B.C. rose 0.8% (seasonally adjusted) in January, marking the fourth straight monthly increase.

    Nationally, sales climbed 3.3%, as strength in six provinces, including Ontario (+6.0%), outweighed lower sales in other provinces.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-55

    Visitor Entries

    Visitor entries to B.C. from the U.S. and overseas was unchanged (+0.0%, seasonally adjusted) for the second straight month in January. While entries from overseas sources jumped 3.6%, travel to B.C. from the U.S. slowed (-1.3%).

    Overall travel to Canada rose 3.1% in January. Visits from the U.S. were up a notable 3.6%, while travel from overseas sources also increased (+1.3%) from the previous month. Meanwhile, the number of Canadians returning home from abroad rose 5.3%.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-54

    Manufacturing Sales

    Sales by B.C. manufacturers edged down (-0.3%, seasonally adjusted) in January, adding to a 1.6% slip recorded in December. A slight increase in shipments by producers of non-durable goods (+0.1%) was not enough to offset a slump in the durables sector (-0.5%). The rise in the value of shipments of non-durable goods was backed by an increase in shipments by paper manufacturers (+3.0%), which comprise one of the larger manufacturing industries in the province.

    Among producers of durables, manufacturers of transportation equipment (+22.8%) and primary metal products (+1.1%) recorded notable increases in sales, but declines in shipments of ...

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