Private and public investment

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2012 (intentions) (Previous release)

Canadian public and private organizations reported that they intend to invest $394.1 billion in construction and machinery and equipment in 2012, up 6.2% from investment in 2011.

Investment intentions advance

Investment intentions advance

Chart description: Investment intentions advance

More than half (56.6%) of the increase in 2012 is the result of higher investment intentions in the mining and oil and gas sector. This sector has reported steady increases every year since the economic slowdown in 2009.

Organizations outside of the mining and oil and gas extraction sector reported total investment intentions for 2012 at $307.2 billion, up 3.4% from 2011.

Public and private organizations reported that investment in capital construction is anticipated to increase 8.0% to $281.7 billion in 2012. Investment in machinery and equipment is expected to increase 2.1% to $112.4 billion.

Investment in the housing sector is estimated to increase 3.4% to $100.5 billion in 2012, based on projected housing starts by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Note to readers

Investment intentions for non-residential construction and machinery and equipment are based on a sample survey of 30,000 private and public organizations. This survey was conducted from October 2011 to late January 2012.

For residential construction, the private and public investment program uses housing start estimates from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which forecasts housing starts under high, medium and low scenarios. These scenarios are used to estimate new housing investment, a key component of the overall housing forecast estimates.

The 2012 estimates for housing in this release are based on the mid-case scenario for each province. The table "Capital spending in Canada, 2012 intentions, by scenario," which appears at the end of this release, covers all scenarios.

Data in this release are expressed in current dollars.

Mining, oil and gas extraction and utilities

Reported capital investment intentions in the mining and oil and gas extraction sector indicate a 17.7% increase to $86.9 billion. If this investment is realized, this sector would account for more than one-fifth (22.0%) of total capital investment nationally in 2012.

In the oil and gas extraction sub-sector, investment intentions by companies are reported to increase 14.8% from 2011 to $64.1 billion in 2012. The conventional oil and gas extraction industry would account for more than half (58.0%) of this amount. Investment in the non-conventional oil industry is expected to increase 24.6% to $26.9 billion.

In the mining sub-sector, firms reported that investment should increase 25.7% to $15.7 billion in 2012. Metal ore mining is one of the main contributors to this increase.

Organizations within the utilities sector reported a capital investment intentions increase of 14.6% to $27.7 billion. Expansion in electric power generation and transmission and distribution in both British Columbia and Alberta are the main contributors to the increase.

Investment in other sectors

Capital investment intentions reported by firms from the transportation and warehousing sector indicate a 21.5% increase to $22.9 billion in 2012. The transit and ground passenger transportation industry accounts for almost half (44.7%) of the overall expected increase in this sector.

Manufacturers reported a 6.6% increase in intentions to $20.3 billion.

Public administration organizations reported investment intentions of $41.1 billion, up 3.8% from 2011. Close to half (46.4%) of these intentions are from local, municipal and regional public administration. Federal government public administration reported a 6.2% increase to $5.6 billion in 2012.

Reported investment intentions declined in the finance and insurance sector (-14.2%) and the real estate and renting and leasing sector (-11.2%).

Provinces and territories

Reported capital investment intentions in Alberta increased $9.1 billion in 2012. This represents 39.5% of the overall increase at the national level.

Private and public organizations in Ontario anticipate spending $116.3 billion on construction and machinery and equipment, up 1.5% from 2011.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables 029-0005, 029-0007 to 029-0022, 029-0024, 032-0001 and 032-0002.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2803.

The publication, Private and Public Investment in Canada, Intentions, 2012 (61-205-X, free), will soon be available.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Debra Roberts (613-951-8360;, Investment, Science and Technology Division.