VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver’s economic growth will slow this year after a rebound in the previous two years, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

The think-tank predicts local GDP will increase 2.5 per cent this year, down 0.6 per cent from last year and a full point below 2010 which was driven by Olympic and federal stimulus spending.

The board says, “local businesses lost some steam toward the end of last year, putting the local economy on a weaker footing going into 2012.” It adds, “Consumer spending sputtered in 2011, with retail sales growth reaching a lackluster 1.8 per cent.”

The board speculates the sector might not rebound until next year. But the report also says employment will “continue to hum along” with an expected net increase of 25,000 jobs, which that “roughly 72,000 new positions will have been created since employment contracted in 2009.”