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Investment in non-residential building down in Canada

Staff Writer |
Investment in non-residential building construction in Canada totalled $12.5 billion in the third quarter, down 0.5% from the previous quarter.

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This was the sixth decrease in seven quarters dating back to the first quarter of 2015. The decline in the third quarter reflected lower spending on commercial and industrial building construction, which more than offset higher investment in institutional buildings.

Investment fell in five provinces, with Alberta and British Columbia posting the largest declines

In Alberta, investment declined for the sixth consecutive quarter. The decrease in the third quarter resulted from lower investment in commercial and industrial buildings. Conversely, construction spending on institutional buildings has increased since the third quarter of 2014.

Investment in British Columbia fell in the third quarter, following nine consecutive quarterly gains. The decrease was attributable to lower investment in all three components, with commercial buildings posting the largest decline.

In contrast, the largest advance occurred in Quebec, followed by Manitoba.

In Quebec, spending on non-residential building construction rose for the first time in nine quarters, as a result of higher investment in the industrial and commercial components.

In Manitoba, investment rose as a result of higher spending in all three components, with commercial projects accounting for most of the gain. This was the second consecutive quarterly increase for the province.

Census metropolitan area

Spending on non-residential building construction was down in 13 of the 34 census metropolitan areas in the third quarter. Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver recorded the largest declines.

After edging up for two consecutive quarters, investment fell 2.9% in Toronto. The decrease was mainly attributable to lower spending on commercial buildings and, to a lesser extent, industrial buildings. In Calgary, construction spending was down for the third consecutive quarter.

The decrease in the third quarter was largely the result of lower investment in commercial projects. In Vancouver, all three components contributed to the decline, with commercial buildings accounting for most of the drop.

The largest gain occurred in Winnipeg, where investment was up mainly as a result of higher spending on the construction of commercial buildings.

This was the second consecutive quarterly rise for Winnipeg. London posted the second largest increase, with all three components contributing to the advance.

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