Strikes impact May building construction values
By Adam FreillConstruction
Strikes in Ontario caused a small dip in national investment in building construction; minus Ontario, investment increased more than one per cent.
Investment in building construction was almost flat in May, edging down 0.2 per cent to $20.6 billion, according to the latest figures compiled by Statistics Canada. The agency attributes the dip to strikes among many of Ontario’s unionized construction workers during the month. These strikes caused significant delays in numerous residential and non-residential construction projects throughout the province. Excluding Ontario, investment increased just over one per cent at the national level.
The workplace stoppages also resulted in the end of a 13-month streak of growth in the non-residential sector. Combined, the components contracted 0.9 per cent to $5.2 billion in May despite gains in eight provinces, with all three components moving downwards compared to a month earlier.
Investment in industrial projects edged down 0.2 per cent, to $935 million; the institutional component fell 0.8 per cent to $1.4 billion; and the commercial component decreased 1.2 per cent to $2.9 billion. On the bright side, all three components remained significantly higher than 12 months earlier. The industrial component was up 12.1 per cent over May of 2021; commercial came in 13.4 per cent higher; and institutional investments were 14.1 per cent higher.
In the residential sector, numbers were largely unchanged as the combined sectors came in at $15.4 billion. There was some moderate growth in areas outside of Ontario, however, as the residential sector increased 1.3 per cent when the largest province was excluded from the May figures.
Looking at the components, multi-unit construction continued to climb, increasing 3.4 per cent to $7 billion, while investment in single-family homes declined 2.5 per cent, ending a seven-month growth streak.