January 20, 2012 by Andrew Snook
Investment in non-residential building construction decreased 0.6 per cent, to $11 billon, in the fourth quarter of 2011.
According to a report by Statistics Canada, the decline in investment was largely due to lower spending in institutional building construction across seven provinces. Four provinces had overall decreases in non-residential investment, with Ontario and B.C. taking the biggest hits.
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec had the biggest gains in the fourth quarter, with Alberta and Quebec experiencing increases in commercial investment, while Saskatchewan had increases in all three components – commercial, industrial and institutional.
Institutional investment spending dropped for the seventh consecutive quarter, this time by 3.7 per cent to $3.2 billion. Alberta and B.C. had the biggest drops – mainly due to declines in investment in educational buildings, while Saskatchewan increased 12.4 per cent to $117 million, largely fuelled by investment in government buildings.
Commercial investment rose 0.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011, with five provinces posting gains.
Alberta led the charge with an increase of 7.5 per cent to $1.6 billion- its third consecutive quarterly gain, while Ontario and B.C. experienced the biggest drops. Ontario’s commercial investment fell 2.6 per cent ($2.4 billion), and B.C. dropped 7.7 per cent ($770 million).
Overall industrial investment in the fourth quarter of 2011 was unchanged, with increases in investment in six provinces being offset by declines in the rest of the provinces.
Alberta had the largest gains at 14 per cent to $284 million, largely due to increased investment in maintenance and manufacturing facilities.
The biggest drops were felt in Ontario and Quebec, with Ontario’s industrial investment down 5.5 per cent to $449 million, mainly due to decreased investment in utility buildings and maintenance facilities. Quebec fell 6.2 per cent to $246 million; mainly due to a decline in invest in manufacturing facilities.
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