Low sales and flat prices are forecast for 2019. While interest rates are forecast to be steady, with a chance of temporary cuts due to declining bond yields, most factors will lean against a significant rebound, including moderating economic growth and restrictive government policy. Total provincial sales are forecast to rise about 3% to 81,000 units this year, with the average price forecast to decline by about 1.5%.
During December, B.C.’s consumer price index (CPI) increased a modest 0.1% over November. However, the conventional year-over-year measure of CPI inflation rose 3%, up from 2.4% in November. The household operations index was 5.3% higher than last December due to a jump in prices for telephone services and internet access services. Child-care and housekeeping services prices were 8.1% higher than in December 2017. The transportation index was up 4%, mainly on higher air travel prices. •
Bryan Yu is deputy chief economist at Central 1 Credit Union.