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Investment in non-residential building construction, third quarter 2014

Released: 2014-10-17

Investment in non-residential building construction increased 1.2% from the second quarter to $13.1 billion in the third quarter. This was the second consecutive quarterly increase and largely resulted from higher spending for commercial building construction.

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 non-residential investment rose in five provinces in the third quarter, with the largest gains occurring in Alberta and Ontario. In Alberta, the gains were led by higher investment in the commercial and institutional components, while in Ontario, they occurred in the industrial, commercial and institutional components.

All four of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec posted declines in the third quarter. Quebec recorded the largest drop, mostly as a result of lower spending on commercial and industrial projects.

Census metropolitan areas

Non-residential investment rose in 19 of 34 census metropolitan areas. The largest increases were in Calgary and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo.

In Calgary, the gain was mostly attributable to commercial and institutional investment, while in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, it came from higher spending on institutional and industrial projects.

Hamilton and Ottawa posted the largest declines, as a result of decreases in all three components.

Commercial component

Investment in commercial building construction increased 1.3% from the second quarter to $8.1 billion in the third quarter. This was the fifth consecutive quarter of growth and resulted from gains spread among several categories of commercial buildings in six provinces.

Alberta was by far the main contributor to the increase in commercial investment, followed by British Columbia. In Alberta, commercial investment rose 3.6% to $2.0 billion. This was the fourth consecutive quarterly gain and came mainly from higher spending in several commercial building categories. In British Columbia, investment increased 5.7% to $880 million, the second straight quarterly gain. The increase resulted from rising investment for most types of commercial buildings.

The largest drop occurred in Quebec, where investment fell 3.3% to $1.3 billion, mainly because of lower spending for office 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

Industrial component

Investment in industrial projects increased in six provinces, rising 1.3% nationally to $1.6 billion in the third quarter. This was mainly the result of higher spending on the construction of primary industry, utility and maintenance buildings.

The biggest gain was in Ontario, where investment rose 9.5% to $663 million as a result of higher spending recorded in every industrial category except manufacturing plants.

Conversely, the largest decrease occurred in Quebec where investment fell 9.2% to $304 million, mainly as a result of lower spending on the construction of manufacturing plants.

Institutional component

Investment in institutional construction increased 0.7% in the third quarter to $3.4 billion, the second consecutive quarterly increase. The gain was mostly attributable to higher investment for educational facilities.

Quebec and Alberta were the major contributors to the increase in institutional investment. The advance in Quebec resulted mainly from higher spending on the construction of educational buildings, while the increase in Alberta was the result of higher spending spread among several institutional building categories.

New Brunswick had the largest decline, as lower spending was recorded in the construction of educational buildings and health care facilities.


  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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