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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 17-38

    Consumer Price Index Highlights

    British Columbia’s consumer price index (CPI) climbed 2.3% (unadjusted) in January, compared to the same month of the previous year. This marks an increase in the year-over-year rate of inflation since December, when it was 1.9%.

    According to Statistics Canada, the overall annual inflation rate of 2.3% went up to 3.3% when food is excluded from the index, and declines to 1.8% when energy is excluded.

    The overall cost of food decreased (-2.4%) since January of last year. The cost of groceries purchased from stores went down (-4.7%), while the cost of meals purchased from restaurants increased ...

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  • Issue 17-37

    Investment Income

    There were 1,177,720 tax filers in British Columbia who reported investment income in 2015, a decrease of 1.2% from the total in 2014. Those who reported investment income represented 34% of tax filers. Despite the fewer number of British Columbian investors reporting income, the value of total investment income jumped 15.5% to $12.8 billion in 2015.

    Nationally, the number of tax filers reporting investment income also dipped (-2.4%) in 2015, with every province recording a decrease. Meanwhile, the value of investment income rose 18.2% to $81.7 billion, due in part to higher value in Alberta (+34.0%) and Ontario ...

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  • Issue 17-36

    Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) Contributions

    The number of British Columbians who contributed to Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) totalled 751,450 in 2015, a 1.2% increase from 2014. The boost in B.C. was among the largest of the provinces, second only to that recorded in P.E.I. (+2.5%). New Brunswick (-0.2%), Saskatchewan (-0.2%) and Alberta (-0.6%) were the only provinces to record fewer contributors in 2015. Nationally, there was only a small increase (+0.3%) in the number of contributors, though the value of contributions rose a notable 1.5% to $39.2 billion.

    RRSP contributors in B.C. represented 22% of all tax filers ...

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  • Issue 17-35

    Retail Sales

    Sales by retailers in the province slipped 0.3% (seasonally adjusted) in December, adding to a similar increase in the previous month. Retailers in many parts of the country did not fare particularly well during the Christmas season. Sales were off in eight provinces, most notably in Quebec (-1.1%) and parts of Atlantic Canada. Canadian sales were down 0.5% in December.

    Annual Retail Sales, 2016

    Despite ending the year in a bit of a slump, retailers in the province increased their sales 6.4% during 2016. Most retailers posted significant gains, including motor vehicle and parts (+7.7%) and food and ...

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  • Issue 17-34

    Wholesale Sales

    Sales by wholesalers in the province rose again in December (+1.4%), increasing for the third consecutive month, due mostly to gains in the machinery, equipment and supplies, and the food, beverage and tobacco subsectors. Nationally, the value of wholesale sales edged up 0.7%, as higher sales in three of the four largest provinces offset weakness in other parts of the country. Sales were up in all subsectors, with the exception of motor vehicles and parts (-2.1%).

    Annual Wholesale Sales, 2016

    During 2016, the value of wholesale sales in B.C. jumped 7.1%, the strongest growth among the provinces. The ...

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  • Issue 17-33

    Real Estate

    B.C.’s real estate agents and brokers industry saw total operating revenue reach $2.1 billion in 2015, up 21.2% from 2014. The industry recorded operating expenses of $1.4 billion, such that the overall operating profit margin stood at 34.2%.

    In 2015, Ontario had the largest real estate market in Canada, accounting for more than half (53%) of total national operating revenues earned by real estate agents and brokers. B.C. followed in relative importance at 18%, a substantially higher share than Quebec (12%) and Alberta (11%).

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-32

    Employment Insurance

    The number of British Columbians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits dropped 1.6% (seasonally adjusted) in December, to 54,950.

    Nationally, the number of EI recipients inched down 0.6%, to 568,790. The number of beneficiaries was down in most provinces across the country. Saskatchewan (-3.6%) saw the most substantial decline, followed by Quebec (-1.7%).

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-31

    Manufacturing Sales

    Manufacturing sales in British Columbia ended the year on a low note, slipping 1.5% to $4.0 billion (seasonally adjusted) in December, following a 2.5% boost in November. The decline was mostly reflected in the wood (-4.4%) and paper (-3.3%) industries. Sales were also down in several other sectors, such that producers of both durable (-1.5%) and non-durable (-1.5%) goods saw sales ease.

    Nationally, manufacturing sales rose 2.3% to $53.5 billion in December. Dollar-for-dollar, Ontario (+2.3%) and Quebec (+4.1%) were the largest contributors to the national total.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 17-30

    Labour Force Statistics

    B.C. Highlights

    The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 5.6% in the month of January, down from 5.8% in December. The gain in employment relative to the previous month (+11,200) was much greater than the increase in size of the labour force (+5,900). The unemployment rate was also lower when compared to January of 2016, when it was 6.6%. Job growth (+82,300) was greater than the growth in the labour force (+60,200) over the course of the past twelve months.
    Compared to December, there was an increase in full-time jobs (+25,400), while part-time jobs fell by 14,200. ...

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  • Issue 17-29

    Price of New Housing

    New housing prices in British Columbia’s major cities increased significantly in December 2016. Prices in Victoria were up 5.1% compared to the same month of 2015. Housing prices in Vancouver (+4.2%) climbed at a slightly slower pace than those in the capital city, though still notably faster than the national average (+3.0%). The metropolitan area of Toronto and Oshawa (+8.0%) had the highest housing price inflation over the twelve-month period.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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