COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard – March 30, 2022   In BC in January, home sales remained flat, while new listings rose and starts fell. Sales rose in all areas of the province except Northern BC and the Lower Mainland. Rental costs in Vancouver and Victoria remain broadly elevated relative to most other points since the onset of the pandemic.      Retail sales in BC rose to a fresh record in January as Omicron waned and are now 14 per cent above February 2020 levels. As of March, restaurant reservations in Vancouver are at roughly 75 per cent of the pre-pandemic level. In BC, Google’s measure of movement trends is currently about 18 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. Although aggregate employment in BC has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the accommodation and food service sector was about 13 per cent below the pre-pandemic level in February. The labour market has served high-income workers much better than low-income workers. Employment in high-income industries is about 10 per cent above pre-pandemic employment levels, while employment in low-income industries is about 6.5 per cent below pre-pandemic employment levels. Manufacturing and exports edged up in January, while imports declined slightly.  Consumer confidence declined slightly in February, while business confidence drifted sideways.  The number of US and non-US tourists has been rising each month since restrictions were eased last summer, with US tourists reaching 58 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in December.    
Ryan McLaughlin
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