How B.C.ers view the year ahead: an exclusive survey

How we view 2015 on the home front, at the office and in the provincial economy. A BCBusiness/Insights West survey

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2015 is the year of the dreaded sheep. Sheep are meek creatures, raised for slaughter—and babies born in the Year of the Sheep, goes the superstition, grow up to be followers rather than leaders. While we can’t speak to the prospects for 2015’s newborns, we can say that, based on some research we’ve done, the rest of us will likely be following in the steady footsteps of 2014.

Our inaugural “State of B.C.” survey was conducted by Insights West, exclusively for BCBusiness, and involved 803 British Columbian adults—including an oversample of business leaders (presidents, vice-presidents, executives, directors and/or business owners who operate in B.C.) to get a proper read on that market. The survey explored how we felt about the state of our personal finances, the provincial economy and where things are going. Would we spend more? Hire more? Change jobs?

For pollster Mario Canseco, the overall results indicate a sense of calm—that things aren’t fabulous, but they’re likely to remain stable on the home, office and provincial front for the immediate future. Still, a few things stood out. “The one thing that was really different from anything I’ve seen in the past is expectations on inflation,” Canseco says. “Groceries are number one on the list, and it’s something we would have never seen four or five years ago. Gas was always tops.”

The other thing he noticed: a deep-seated pessimism on Vancouver Island. “There’s this tendency to be really upset at the status quo there,” he says. “And to be very frugal as well—that things are not going to get any better, so I better just cut my losses and take it easy and not try to make any rash decisions. It’s been almost like a country in itself.”

(The survey was conducted between November 4 and November 7, 2014, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5%.)