As I wrap up my second full year in the driver’s seat here at On-Site, I can’t help but feel fortunate for all the great experiences I’ve had, and all the truly inspiring people that I have met along the way.
The magazine is doing well: our editorial team has grown (welcome Andrew Snook); we still have the guidance and contributions of industry gurus such as past editor Jim Barnes; and our online presence is growing with the expanded capabilities of our website and foray into the wonderful world of social media.
Our success is closely connected to the strength of the Canadian construction industry. With that in mind, reading TD economists’ Diana Petramala and Derek Burleton’s recent report about how “Canada’s construction sector is flexing its economic muscle” has given me even more reason to be optimistic about 2012.
Tis the season for sharing, so here are a few highlights from the report that are sure to make you merry.
- The construction industry was the second fastest growing industry over the last decade. The sector, which accounts for about one tenth of Canadian GDP, directly boosted total economic growth by a sizeable 0.5 percentage points per year on average, more than double its prior 20-year average. What’s more, nearly one million direct and indirect jobs have been created due to the building boom over the past decade.
- Non-residential construction helped provide the largest lift to real GDP growth, while residential building experienced the largest gains in employment.
- 2011 likely marked a transition into a period of more moderately paced building. Over the next few years, slowing housing demands and an overbuilding in the Canadian condo market are likely to weigh on residential building construction. Government focus on deficit reduction also implies a slower pace of spending on infrastructure. The good news is that healthy business balance sheets, a decent profit outlook and a number of tax incentives will support continued strength in non-residential building.
- While the economic thrust from construction will likely slow down significantly over the medium term, the sector is expected to continue to positively contribute to economic and job growth.
For more detailed information on how the construction industry is shaping up by sector and region, check out the 2012 Construction Forecast on pg 28.
From all of us here at On-Site, Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year.