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BC's Economic Plan: Building an economy that works for everyone | BC Gov News – BC Gov News

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The Province is launching a bold, new long-term economic plan that moves British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for more people and families.

StrongerBC: A Plan for Today, a Vision for Tomorrow builds on B.C.’s strength – its people. The plan sets out to fill one million jobs over the next 10 years by investing in skills training, building resilient communities and positioning B.C. as a world leader in a low-carbon economy.

“Our government understands that people are the economy and that growing the economy cannot mean leaving people behind,” said Premier John Horgan. “Today, B.C. is a national economic leader, and our StrongerBC plan provides a framework to create a low-carbon economy that works for everyone. An economy built for all is an economy built to succeed.”

As a first step in the plan, the Province is investing $136.6 million to build a new state-of-the-art Trades and Technology Complex at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Burnaby campus. The complex will be a hub for skills training and include four new buildings, benefiting more than 12,000 full- and part‐time students per year in more than 20 trades and technology programs.

“The pandemic has exposed deep vulnerabilities in our society, and we know we can’t go back to the way things were,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This plan is your plan. It’s built by British Columbians, for British Columbians and puts people first. By investing in people, we will tackle today’s challenges while growing tomorrow’s economy. And through this plan we will close our skills gap, prove that we can grow the economy while tackling climate change and create a province that is more inclusive, sustainable and innovative.”

Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, said: “Investing in new trades training infrastructure at BCIT is a crucial part of equipping students for the jobs of the future while supporting a clean, innovative economy. The new Trades and Technology Complex will help ensure future students have access to the best tools, instruction and equipment needed to meet the demand for an estimated 85,000 new trades jobs expected over the next 10 years.”

Along with building a new Trades and Technology Complex at BCIT, key actions under the StrongerBC Economic Plan include training British Columbians to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow, accelerating the timeline to connect all B.C. communities to high-speed internet, creating opportunities for under-represented entrepreneurs, expanding domestic manufacturing capabilities, establishing an ESG Centre of Excellence to promote Environmental, Social and Governance principles for products and services, and building more resilient B.C. businesses by expanding access to global markets.

The plan is built with the belief that an economy can grow and thrive, while addressing two core issues: inequality and climate change. The StrongerBC Economic Plan puts the province on this path by working toward inclusive and clean growth, as well as identifying six missions to achieve these goals:

  • supporting people and families;
  • building resilient communities;
  • advancing true, lasting and meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples;
  • meeting B.C.’s climate commitments;
  • leading on environmental and social responsibility; and
  • fostering innovation throughout B.C.’s economy.

The StrongerBC Economic Plan is the result of extensive engagement sessions, including sessions led by the Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation with more than 300 people from every region of the province and from all walks of life, such as leaders from businesses, labour groups, First Nations and Indigenous communities, municipalities and universities and colleges.

Mariana Mazzucato and her team at the U.K.-based University College London – Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose have been advising the Province on the development of the plan. Mazzucato is one of the world’s foremost economic thought leaders who has advised governments and policy makers to deliver solutions to societal challenges.

The plan’s goals will be tracked through a broad set of progressive indicators. In addition to traditional economic indicators like gross domestic product (GDP) and job numbers, the plan will also measure well-being indicators like affordable housing, post-secondary training and poverty reduction.

StrongerBC: A Plan for Today, a Vision for Tomorrow is an evolving plan based on the experiences of British Columbians and designed to be adapted and adjusted. People are encouraged to share their economic priorities and ideas online. Input from the survey will help inform future policy and guide the work of the plan.   

To take part in the survey, visit: StrongerBC.gov.bc.ca/engage

Quotes:

Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training –

“With more than 85,000 new trades jobs expected in the next decade, it is imperative that we invest in the educational opportunities and facilities that apprentices and students need to get the job done. I’m excited for the future laid out in the StrongerBC Economic Plan and supported by skilled trades certification. I know our skilled tradespeople are up to the challenge of helping build a stronger B.C. for us all.”

Shaquille Davis, BCIT Level 4 carpentry apprentice –

“BCIT is a place where students learn to maximize their potential while gaining hands-on work experience that is applicable to everyday life. After completing four years of my carpentry apprenticeship at BCIT, I am confident that I can tackle any complexity within my field. Thanks to support from BCIT, the provincial government and industry partners, there will be more educational opportunities to support students, like myself, in becoming innovators for the trades industry.”

Kathy Kinloch, president, BCIT –

“This important investment will facilitate the ongoing transformation of BCIT’s Burnaby campus and our ability to help power B.C.’s ongoing pandemic recovery by giving trades and technology learners the skills and credentials they need for today and tomorrow. This transformation will also provide our incredible faculty and staff with the tools needed to stay in lockstep with industry’s current and emerging trends. Our thanks to the Province, our generous donors and to BCIT faculty and staff for your crucial support on this key initiative.”

Quick Facts:

  • In fall 2021, a series of focused virtual engagement sessions were held with First Nations governments and Indigenous organizations with engagement continuing into 2022.
  • In addition, more than 300 stakeholders and partners provided input to help develop this plan, taking part in 33 virtual engagement sessions.
  • B.C. leads Canada in economic recovery with more than 100,000 new jobs added in 2021.
  • According to the Labour Market Outlook, more than one million job openings are expected in B.C. over the next 10 years, approximately 80% of which will require post-secondary education and training.
  • The Trades and Technology Complex at BCIT is the first provincially funded post-secondary capital project that requires developers to prioritize hiring Indigenous, women and other under-represented people in the trades through the Community Benefits Agreement.

Learn More:

For more information about StrongerBC: A Plan for Today, a Vision for Tomorrow, visit: https://strongerbc.ca/plan

To download the StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/StrongerBC_Economic_Plan_2022.pdf

To view a list of economic indicators for StrongerBC: A Plan for Today, a Vision for Tomorrow, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Economic_Plan_Tracking_our_Progress_2022.pdf

To learn more about the new Trades and Technology Complex at BCIT, visit: https://commons.bcit.ca/news/2022/02/bcit-trades-technology-students-get-new-training-facilities/

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Fed officials signal rates may head to ‘restrictive’ levels to stabilize economy – PBS NewsHour

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials agreed when they met earlier this month that they might have to raise interest rates to levels that would weaken the economy as part of their drive to curb inflation, which has reached a four-decade high.

READ MORE: U.S. prices see smallest rise in eight months, spurring hopes that inflation may be peaking

At the same time, many of the policymakers also agreed that after a rapid series of rate increases in the coming months, they could “assess the effects” of their rate hikes and, depending on the economy’s health, adjust their policies.

After their meeting this month, the policymakers raised their benchmark short-term rate by a half-point — double the usual hike. According to minutes from the May 3-4 meeting released Wednesday, most of the officials agreed that half-point hikes also “would likely be appropriate” at their next two meetings, in June and July. Chair Jerome Powell himself had indicated after this month’s meeting that half-point increases would be “on the table” at the next two meetings.

All the officials believed that the Fed should “expeditiously” raise its key rate to a level at which it neither stimulates or restrains growth, which officials have said is about 2.4 percent. Some policymakers have said they will likely reach that point by the end of this year.

The minutes suggest, though, that there may be a sharp debate among policymakers about how quickly to tighten credit after the June and July meetings. The economy has showed more signs of slowing, and stock markets have dropped sharply, since the Fed meeting.

Government reports have shown, for example, that sales of new and existing homes have slowed sharply since the Fed meetings, and there are signs that factory output is growing more slowly. Gennadiy Goldberg, senior rates strategist at TD Securities, suggested that the minutes released Wednesday might reflect a more “hawkish” Fed — that is, more focused on rate hikes to restrain inflation — than may actually be the case now.

Some officials, particularly Raphael Bostic, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, have indicated since this month’s meeting that the Fed could reconsider its pace of rate hikes in September.

At the meeting, Fed officials agreed to raise their benchmark rate to a range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent, their first increase of that size since 2000. The officials also announced that they would start to shrink their huge $9 trillion balance sheet, which has more than doubled since the pandemic.

The balance sheet swelled as the Fed steadily bought about $4.5 trillion in Treasury and mortgage bonds after the pandemic recession struck to try to hold down longer-term rates. On June 1, the Fed plans to let those securities start to mature, without replacing them. That should also heighten the cost of long-term borrowing.

Powell has said the Fed is determined to raise rates high enough to restrain inflation, leading many economists to expect the sharpest pace of rate hikes in three decades this year. Powell says the central bank is aiming for a “soft landing,” in which higher interest rates cool borrowing and spending enough to slow the economy and inflation. But most economists are skeptical that the Fed can achieve such a narrow outcome without causing an economic downturn.

WATCH: Inequality persists as the U.S. economy recovers from the pandemic

Stock prices have plunged on fears that the Fed’s rate hikes will send the economy into recession. The S&P 500 has fallen for seven straight weeks, the longest such stretch since the aftermath of the dot-com bubble in 2001. The stock index nearly fell into bear-market territory last week — defined as a 20 percent drop from its peak — but rallied Wednesday.

The minutes also showed that some policymakers decided it was appropriate to consider selling some of its holdings of mortgage-backed securities, rather than simply letting them mature. Sales would make it easier for the Fed to transition to a portfolio composed mainly of Treasurys, the minutes said. The Fed did not mention any timing of such sales but said they would be “announced well in advance.”

The Fed has said that by September it would allow up to $30 billion of mortgage-backed securities to mature each month, along with $60 billion in Treasurys. Many analysts doubt that the cap will be reached for mortgage-backed bonds, because mortgage rates having jumped more than 2 percentage points since the start of the year. That means that fewer homeowners will refinance their mortgages because their current loan rates are lower than what is now available in the mortgage market.

Fewer refinancings would force the Fed to sell mortgage-backed securities to maintain its plans to reduce its balance sheet.

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P.E.I. business group sets goals to boost economy — but first it needs workers – CBC.ca

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High-speed internet for all communities on P.E.I., increased wages and support for entrepreneurs — particularly women, Indigenous people and newcomers — were part of a new ​​five-year plan announced Wednesday to boost P.E.I.’s economy.

The Partnership for Growth formed in 2019, and over the last few years received input from more than 200 businesses.

The group has created a plan for economic growth that sets specific goals it wants to see met by 2026, such as increasing the Island’s GDP, improving wages and making P.E.I. a bigger player on the global market. 

“It’s now more important than ever to take the long term view, we’re coming out of COVID-19 our focus has been very short term, now we need to look at what are our priorities to make sure that we got back on track,” said Rory Francis, interim chair for Partnership for Growth.

But first, there are short-term issues that need to be addressed, including a shortage of workers in many industries.

Premier Dennis King said it’s important to work with businesses to help attract and maintain those workers.

‘Good blueprint’

“We also have to be a leader in making sure we have the housing for those that we’re going to need to do here, the skills training, there’s just so many components to this where government can be a leader but also a follower, a supporter as well,” he said.

“Government does best when we take our leadership from others and to have a group that has come together like this across so many sectors of the economy I think this gives us a good blueprint for that.” 

The province will continue to focus on immigration and creating business incentives to improve wages, King said.

The partnership has formed a committee that will help businesses figure out how to achieve their goals.

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German economy dodges recession as war, pandemic weigh – Financial Post

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BERLIN — The German economy grew slightly in the first quarter from the previous one, data showed, with higher investments offset by the twin impacts of war in Ukraine and COVID-19 that experts predicted would weigh more heavily in the three months to June.

Europe’s largest economy grew an adjusted 0.2% quarter on quarter and 3.8% on the year, the Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday. A Reuters poll had forecast 0.2% and 3.7%, respectively.

The reading meant that Germany skirted a recession, often defined as two quarters in a row of quarter-on-quarter contraction, after gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.3% at the end of 2021.

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While household and government spending remained mostly at the same level as in the previous quarter and exports were down at the start of the year, investments grew.

Construction investments, boosted by mild weather, were up 4.6% from the previous quarter, despite price increases, and machinery and equipment investments rose 2.5%.

German business morale rose unexpectedly in May as its economy showed resilience, according to an Ifo institute survey published this week that found no observable signs of a recession.

However, there is no upswing in sight either, and Sebastian Dullien, director of the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK), predicted the effect of the war and pandemic-linked restrictions in China – Germany’s biggest trading partner last year, according to official data – would be much greater in the second quarter.

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ING economist Carsten Brzeski said he was sticking with his baseline scenario of a slight GDP contraction in the second quarter after Wednesday’s reading.

“The build-up of inventories and weak consumption in the first quarter, as well as very weak consumer confidence, clearly dampen the optimism that traditional leading indicators are currently conveying,” he said.

A consumer sentiment index by the GfK institute inched up slightly heading into June from an all-time low in May, with household spending burdened by inflation.

The government forecasts economic growth of 2.2% in 2022. (Reporting by Miranda Murray and Rene Wagner; Editing by Paul Carrel and John Stonestreet)

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