In January 2020, The Hilton Vancouver Convention Center held an annual event that forecasted the year ahead.
Hosted by The Columbian and attended by 475 people, the Economic Forecast Breakfast could not have predicted an economic collapse arguably worse than the Great Recession of 2008 and a pandemic that killed more Americans than World War II.
In its 35-year history, last year’s forecast was likely the most unpredictable.
This year, The Columbian is pressing on with its traditional economic forecast event, scrapping the breakfast and going all-digital and free.
The Columbian is also releasing some of its collected data that shows how disruptive the pandemic has been to the region’s economy.
Some factors, such as the average rent for an apartment and the number of utility customers, haven’t shown any change; they’re going up at about the same rate. But other factors were either accelerated or reversed from a five-year trend, and the pandemic is an obvious culprit.