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Investment in non-residential building construction, second quarter 2014

Released: 2014-07-17

Investment in non-residential building construction amounted to $12.8 billion in the second quarter, down 0.5% from the previous quarter. It was the second consecutive quarterly decline and resulted from lower spending on industrial and institutional buildings.

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

At the national level, total investment decreased in six provinces in the second quarter. Alberta and British Columbia had the largest declines as a result of lower spending in the industrial, commercial and institutional components.

Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island posted increases in the second quarter. The largest gain was in Ontario, where investment rose 1.2% to $5.0 billion as a result of higher commercial investment.

Census metropolitan areas

Investment was down in 20 of the 34 census metropolitan areas in the second quarter, with the largest declines in Vancouver, Hamilton and London. In Vancouver and Hamilton, investment fell in all three components, while the decrease in London was attributable to commercial and institutional spending.

Conversely, the largest advances occurred in Kingston, Ottawa and Toronto. In Kingston, the increase resulted from higher investment in the construction of institutional buildings, while the gains in Ottawa and Toronto were due to commercial and industrial spending.

Industrial component

Investment in the industrial component declined 6.1% to $1.6 billion in the second quarter, a third consecutive quarterly decrease.

Overall, eight provinces posted declines in the industrial component. The largest declines were recorded in Alberta and British Columbia, mainly as a result of lower spending on maintenance buildings and manufacturing plants.

The two provinces that had gains were Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In Nova Scotia, industrial investment was up for a third consecutive quarter; this most recent advance was largely attributable to manufacturing plants. In Prince Edward Island, investment increased mainly as a result of higher spending on the construction of primary industry buildings.

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

Spending in the institutional component decreased 0.4% to $3.3 billion. It was the second consecutive quarterly decline in this component at the national level. Investment was down in every province except Quebec.

The largest decline occurred in Ontario, where investment fell 2.3% to $1.2 billion, a 10th consecutive quarterly decline. The decrease in the second quarter was attributable to lower spending in most institutional building categories.

In Quebec, institutional investment rose 7.5% to $830 million, the fourth consecutive quarterly increase. The second quarter advance resulted mainly from higher spending on the construction of health care facilities and educational buildings.

Commercial component

Investment in commercial building construction reached $8.0 billion in the second quarter, up 0.7% from the previous quarter and the fourth consecutive quarter of growth. Ontario was by far the largest contributor to the increase in commercial investment, followed by Saskatchewan. In Ontario, investment rose 3.4% to $3.1 billion, mostly as a result of higher spending on office buildings and retail and wholesale outlets.

In Saskatchewan, commercial investment was up 7.1% to $266 million, a third consecutive quarter of growth. The gains in Saskatchewan were mainly attributable to higher spending on office building and retail and wholesale outlets.

The largest decrease occurred in Quebec, where investment fell 2.7% to $1.4 billion, mainly as a result of lower spending in several commercial building categories.


  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 Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

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 also benchmarked to Statistics Canada's System of National Accounts' 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, 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 Mahamat Hamit-Haggar (mahamat.hamit-haggar@statcan.gc.ca; 613-951-0862), Investment, Science and Technology Division.

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