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Investment in non-residential building construction, third quarter 2013

Released: 2013-10-17

Investment in non-residential building construction increased 4.4% to $13.0 billion in the third quarter, following a 2.7% decline in the second quarter. The gain in the third quarter was attributable to the end of a construction strike in Quebec as well as increases in five other provinces, particularly Alberta.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Investment in non-residential building construction  - Description and data table
Investment in non-residential building construction

Chart 1: Investment in non-residential building construction  - Description and data table

Total investment rose in six provinces in the third quarter. The most substantial gain occurred in Quebec, as investment rebounded to levels similar to those before the June construction strike. Alberta posted a strong increase as a result of higher spending in commercial, institutional and industrial components.

Overall, four provinces posted declines in the third quarter. Ontario recorded the largest drop, mostly as a result of lower commercial and institutional investment.

Census metropolitan areas

Investment increased in 21 of 34 census metropolitan areas. The largest gains were in Montréal, Québec and Calgary.

Spending on the construction of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings was up in both Montréal and Québec. In Calgary, the increase resulted from higher commercial and institutional investments.

The largest declines occurred in Toronto and Edmonton. In Toronto, investment declined for the fourth consecutive quarter, as spending fell across all three components.

In Edmonton, total investment fell for the second consecutive quarter and was the result of declines in commercial and institutional components.

Commercial component

Investment in commercial building construction reached $7.8 billion in the third quarter, up 3.1% from the previous quarter. Advances in this component came mainly from the construction of office buildings in seven provinces, as well as recreational buildings in six provinces.

Commercial investment increased in four provinces. The largest gain occurred in Quebec, where investment rose 23.9% to $1.5 billion, following an 11.4% drop in the second quarter. This gain was led by higher spending in the construction of retail and wholesale outlets, recreational and office buildings.

In Alberta, commercial investment rose 1.9% to $1.8 billion, mostly as a result of higher spending on office and recreational buildings.

After six consecutive quarters of increases, Ontario posted the largest decline, as spending was down 1.5% to $2.8 billion. The decrease was the result of lower spending spread among several commercial building categories.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Commercial, institutional and industrial components  - Description and data table
Commercial, institutional and industrial components

Chart 2: Commercial, institutional and industrial components  - Description and data table

Institutional component

Investment in institutional construction rose 6.3% in the third quarter to $3.4 billion, following nine consecutive quarters of declines. The biggest contributing factor to the gain was higher spending on the construction of educational facilities in nine provinces.

Overall, seven provinces posted increases in the institutional component. The largest gains were in Quebec and Alberta, both of which recorded higher spending in the construction of educational buildings and health care facilities.

In contrast, Ontario had the largest decline, as lower spending was spread among several institutional buildings categories.

Industrial component

Investment in industrial projects increased in seven provinces, rising 6.2% to $1.8 billion in the third quarter. This was mainly the result of higher spending on the construction of maintenance buildings and primary industry buildings.

Quebec posted the largest gain, as investment rose 26.9% to $424 million. Higher spending on construction of manufacturing facilities and primary industry buildings led the increase. Alberta followed with a gain of 8.1% to $411 million, largely as a result of the construction of maintenance and utilities buildings.

Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia and Ontario posted declines in the third quarter, which were largely attributable to lower spending in the construction of manufacturing buildings.


  Note to readers

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data expressed in current dollars, which facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

Investments in non-residential building construction exclude engineering construction (such as for highways, sewers, bridges and oil and gas pipelines). This series is based on the Building Permits Survey of municipalities, which collects information on construction intentions.

Work put-in-place patterns are assigned to each type of structure (industrial, commercial and institutional). These work patterns are used to distribute the value of building permits according to project length. Work put-in-place patterns differ according to the value of the construction project; a project worth several million dollars will usually take longer to complete than will a project of a few hundred thousand dollars.

Additional data from the Capital and Repair Expenditures Survey are used to create this investment series. Investments in non-residential building data are benchmarked to Statistics Canada's System of National Accounts of non-residential building investment series.

For the purpose of this release, the census metropolitan area of Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario/Quebec) is divided into two areas: the Ottawa part and the Gatineau part.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Bechir Oueriemmi (613-951-1165), Investment, Science and Technology Division.

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