- Lumber prices continue to escalate as well with the “Composite Index” at $342 this past week compared to $202 a year ago. This has led to a reduction in the border tax as of May 1 from 15% to 10%. I really believe we will start seeing some mills re-open and shifts being added back. In addition I would expect a significant increase in logging activity this summer.
- The real driver behind price increases was seen in January 2010 when B.C.’s total softwood lumber exports increased by 22% over January 2009. This includes a four-fold increase in the exports to China, a six per cent increase in exports to the U.S. and an 11 per cent increase in exports to Japan.
- In February 2010, B.C.'s average weekly wage was $813, fourth highest in Canada. The average weekly wage has risen by $165 - or more than 25 per cent - since 2001, when it was $648.
- Consumer confidence in British Columbia rose by a record 25.9 points in March and now sits at 121.1 points. The Conference Board of Canada reports B.C.’s consumer confidence level is 28.6 points higher the Canadian average of 92.5.
- In December 2009 China granted Canada approved destination status, allowing tour operators and travel agents in China to advertise and organize tours in Canada and British Columbia. Approved destination status could increase Chinese tourism to B.C. by 25 per cent annually over the next few years.
From Pat Bell's newsletter online.
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