National News

Housing to aid B.C. lumber exports: economist

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The federal Crown corporation that provides financing to Canadian exporters is forecasting that an increase in lumber shipments overseas will drive the B.C. economy for the next two years.

The forestry sector is predicted to grow by 15 per cent this year and another 10 per cent in 2015.

Export Development Canada's chief economist Peter Hall says recovery in the U.S. housing market and growing demand from China will fuel the need for lumber.

But he says constraints on supply could be a challenge.

Hall also says that agri-food exports and hydroelectric power account for about four to five per cent of total exports in B.C. but could increase because of the drought in California.

Hall was in Vancouver on Tuesday and addressed a lunchtime crowd of business leaders from small- and medium-sized companies about global economic trends.

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