Canada non-residential building construction reached $12.6 billion
The decline largely reflected a downward trend in spending on the construction of commercial buildings and, to a lesser extent, on the construction of industrial buildings.
The non-residential sector continued to be affected by a number of factors, namely high vacancy rates for office buildings in major urban centres and lower profits for companies in the primary resource sector, specifically the oil and gas industry.
Nationally, investment in non-residential building construction was down in six provinces in the fourth quarter. The largest declines occurred in Quebec and Ontario.
In Quebec, investment was down in all three components, led by declines in the commercial and institutional components. In Ontario, the decrease resulted mainly from the commercial and institutional components. As well, most of the projects in these components in the two provinces began in 2013 or early 2014 and are now nearly completed.
Saskatchewan had the largest increase in the fourth quarter, mainly due to higher spending on the construction of institutional buildings.
Total investment fell in 18 of the 34 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in the fourth quarter.
The sharpest declines occurred in Canada's two largest CMAs, Toronto and Montréal. The decrease in Toronto followed seven consecutive quarterly increases and was due to lower spending on the construction of institutional and commercial buildings.
In Montréal, investment decreased for the third consecutive quarter and was mainly a result of lower spending on institutional and commercial projects.
The largest increases occurred in Edmonton, Vancouver and Saskatoon. In Edmonton, higher investment in the construction of institutional buildings led the increase.
In Vancouver, the gain originated from higher investment in the construction of commercial and industrial buildings, while in Saskatoon, spending increased in all three components. ■