The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Canadian Nonresidential Building Investment Grew 1% in First Quarter

Higher spending in commercial and industrial projects drove the gain.

Investment in non-residential building construction in Canada grew to $12.4 billion in the first quarter, up 1 percent from the previous quarter. Higher spending in the commercial and industrial components led to a fifth consecutive quarterly gain.

Investment rose in four provinces in the first quarter. The largest increase was in Quebec, followed by Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba.

The gain in Quebec came from all three components, led by higher investment in the institutional component. Alberta investment increased in the institutional and commercial components, while industrial investment rose in British Columbia. There were increases in institutional and industrial components in Manitoba.

The largest declines in total investment were in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The Ontario decline was all in the institutional component. In Saskatchewan, investment fell in the commercial and industrial components.

Metro Areas
Investment was up in 13 of 34 census metropolitan areas (CMAs). The largest increases were in Montréal, Hamilton and Vancouver.

In Montréal, increases occurred in all three components. In Hamilton, the increases were in commercial and industrial components, while in Vancouver the gains were in institutional and commercial investment.

The largest declines were in St. Catharines–Niagara and London. In both CMAs, investment was down in all three components, with the largest declines in the institutional component.

Commercial Building
Commercial building construction investment was up in seven provinces, rising to $7.5 billion in the first quarter, up 1.2 percent from the previous quarter. It was the sixth consecutive quarter of growth and was led by higher spending on the construction of recreational buildings and retail and wholesale outlets.

The largest gains in commercial investment were in Ontario and Quebec. In Ontario, investment rose for a fifth consecutive quarter, to $2.7 billion, a 1.8 percent increase from the previous quarter. In Quebec, commercial investment was up 3.1 percent to $1.3 billion. It was the 13th consecutive quarter of increasing commercial investment in Quebec. In both provinces, most of the gain came from greater investment in retail and wholesale outlets and recreational buildings.

Commercial investment was down 7.0 percent in Saskatchewan, to $271 million, led by lower spending on the construction of office and recreational buildings.

Industrial Projects
Investment in industrial projects increased for a sixth consecutive quarter to $1.7 billion, up 2.5 percent. Growth in this component came from the construction of manufacturing plants and maintenance buildings.

Provincially, the largest gains were in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario.

In Quebec, investment rose 12.3 percent to $363 million. In British Columbia, a 14.5 percent increase brought investment to $198 million, while in Ontario, a total industrial investment of $609 million represented a 2.9 percent increase. Most of the increase in this component was attributable to higher spending on the construction of manufacturing plants in all three provinces.

The largest decline was in Newfoundland and Labrador. Investment was down 24.1 percent to $41 million, as some major projects neared completion.

Institutional Projects
Investment in institutional projects continued its downward trend for the ninth consecutive quarter, falling 0.3 percent to $3.2 billion in the first quarter. The largest part of the decline was attributable to lower spending on the construction of educational buildings.

Investment was down in four provinces, with the largest decline in Ontario, down 7.1 percent to $1.5 billion. Most of the decline in Ontario occurred in spending for health care facilities and educational buildings.

The largest increases were in Quebec and Alberta. In Quebec, investment rose 10.7 percent to $653 million, with most of the increase attributable to larger spending on health care facilities.

Investment increased 10.8 percent in Alberta, to $328 million, with the increase mostly attributable to higher spending on educational buildings and health care facilities.

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