ECONOMIC UPDATE: Indicators help evaluate Nanaimo’s economy

NANAIMO – Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation recently released two reports revealing the current state of the economy.

By Sasha Angus

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation recently released two reports revealing the current state of the economy in the Nanaimo region: The Annual Economic Indicators Report and the Quarterly Economic Update (July-September). A key component of both evaluating Nanaimo’s current economic and business conditions and attracting key industries and investments is the ability to provide timely and relevant information on the state of the regional economy.

Nanaimo accounts for approximately 2.1 percent of B.C.’s gross domestic product. Since 2009, Nanaimo’s GDP has grown by six per cent to $3.9 billion. Growth in GDP has primarily been driven by the service producing sectors including health care, transportation and warehousing, educational services and food and accommodation. In the goods producing sector, construction has been the primary contributor to GDP growth.

There were 157 housing starts in Nanaimo in the second quarter, which is an increase of 58.6 per cent from the same quarter in 2013. Seventy-seven per cent more single-family homes were built compared to 2013. Semi and row housing remained identical, while apartment and other type increased by 41 per cent.

In 2013, 205 single family dwellings were built and 210 were multiple dwellings. In 2014, the single-family housing construction is predicted to increase by 41.5 per cent (290 units) and multiple dwellings to increase by 23.8 per cent (260 units). Overall new housing construction in 2014 is estimated to increase 32.5 per cent.

The City of Nanaimo issued 286 building permits valued at $48.9 million in the third quarter of 2014.

In comparison to 2013, building permit values in 2014 increased by 63 per cent. Year-to-date, building permit values increased in most categories leading to an overall increase of 117 per cent by end of September 2014 compared to September 2013.

The number of visitors to tourism information centers increased 23.17 per cent in the third quarter of 2014 over 2013. Overall numbers by September 2014 are 8.41 per cent above 2013. The Vancouver Island Conference delegate days for the first three quarters of 2014 are 51.15 per cent above those for 2013.

NEDC will continue to produce economic indicator and quarterly update reports as new data sets become available.

Both reports can be accessed at

Sasha Angus is CEO of Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation.