The BC government just released their first quarterly report saying vaccinations rates are helping to support a swift economic recovery.
Since 2020, $13.6 billion has been invested into COVID-19 pandemic recovery—from funding for small-to-medium sized business grants, circuit breaker relief, to paid sick leave—and according to the province, it’s helped BC recover from its projected deficit.
In what was expected to be a $9.7 billion deficit in April, the BC government now projects the year’s deficit to go below $4.8 billion.
The province said that their $6.2 billion in provincial revenues is due to gains in income tax revenues, natural resource revenues, federal funding towards COVID-19 response and recovery, as well as child care.
Higher expenses due to this year’s devastating wildfires and additional spending for the delivery of key services have offset costs, and federally funded investments in early learning and child care and improvements in long-term care facilities have shifted some of the fiscal progress.
Other positives include BC’s gross domestic product growing due to higher retail sales, exports and housing activity, and BC’s employment levels surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
While the projections by no means balance the budget—which the province said is their ultimate goal—the government appears optimistic in their latest report, yet necessarily cautious due to the pandemic.
In that case, the province said the forecast allowance will remain unchanged to provide continued prudence.