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Non-residential construction up 0.7 per cent in Q1 2012


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April 20, 2012 by Andrew Snook

According to Statistics Canada, non-residential building construction investment rose by 0.7 per cent to $11.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012, when compared to the previous quarter.

The increase follows two consecutive quarters of decline, driven by increases in investment in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Overall investment levels were up in seven provinces, led by Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Alberta.

Investment in non-residential construction declined in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, with institutional investment dropping in all three provinces; and investment in all three components decreasing in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Overall investment increased in 12 of the 34 census metropolitan areas (CMAs), with the biggest gains occurring in some of the largest CMAs – including Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Saskatoon, fuelled mainly by increased commercial investment. Toronto, Saskatoon and Winnipeg also experienced significant gains in institutional investment.

Hamilton and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo experienced the largest declines, with investment levels dropping in all three components.

Commercial building construction increased 1.6 per cent, compared from the previous quarter, to $6.7 billion. Gains were experienced in seven provinces with Alberta leading the pack, up two per cent to $1.6 billion for its eighth consecutive quarterly increase, mainly fuelled by a boost in investment for storage facilities and office buildings.

In Manitoba, commercial investment jumped 24.1 per cent to $156 million, driven mainly by increased spending in recreational and office buildings.

New Brunswick experienced the largest decline in the quarter, dropping 9.5 per cent to $76 million. The majority of the drop was due to decreased investment in retail and wholesale outlets and storage facilities.

Investment in industrial construction increased 2.8 per cent to $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2012, mainly due to the building of manufacturing plants in six provinces and utility buildings in four provinces.

Alberta led the charge with its industrial investment up 7.2 per cent to $305 million, mainly due to increased utility building construction.
Investment was also up 10 per cent to $114 million in B.C. for the province’s eighth consecutive quarterly gain, mainly due to increased spending for manufacturing plants and utility buildings.

Newfoundland and Labrador experienced the largest decline, dropping 24.2 per cent to $17 million due to decreased investment in utility buildings and manufacturing plants. The decrease follows six consecutive quarterly increases for the province.

Overall investment in the institutional component dropped by two per cent to $3.2 billion for its eighth consecutive quarterly decline.

Seven provinces experienced declines, with the largest drop occurring in Alberta, where investment fell 10.6 per cent to $294 million, largely due to lower investment in educational buildings.

Manitoba experienced the largest gains, jumping 16.4 per cent to $107 million in the quarter, largely driven by higher investment in health care facilities, for the province’s seventh consecutive quarterly increase.

To view the full report, click here.

Source: Statistics Canada


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