Investment in Building Construction Rose 1.8% in July

Investment In Building Construction - July 2020

Sept 24, 2020

Total investment in building construction increased 1.8% to $15.1 billion in July. Residential sector investment increased 4.9% to $9.9 billion, while non-residential investment decreased 3.7% to $5.3 billion. Construction activity has rebounded in the last few months, with investment in building construction remaining slightly lower than February 2020 levels, before COVID-19 construction restrictions were first put in place. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction increased 2.0% to $12.4 billion.

Residential construction up for the third consecutive month

Investment in residential construction rose 4.9% to $9.9 billion in July, with increases in both single-unit (+7.5% to $5.1 billion) and multi-unit (+2.4% to $4.8 billion) investment. Ontario (+4.5% to $4.0 billion) and Quebec (+5.6% to $2.0 billion) led all of Canada in residential gains. 

Despite another month of residential growth, national investment was 3.7% lower than the pre-COVID-19 levels observed in February 2020. Quebec had the largest gap between current and pre-COVID-19 levels, down $249.6 million or 10.9% compared with February 2020.

Non-residential investment pulls back 

Following strong gains in June, non-residential construction investment declined 3.7% to $5.3 billion in July, with decreases reported in all three components. Eight provinces reported declines for the month, with the largest decreases in Ontario (-3.2% to $2.1 billion) and Quebec (-4.8% to $1.4 billion). Newfoundland and Labrador (+4.2%) and Prince Edward Island (+4.1%) were the only provinces to report gains for the month. Further declines are anticipated in this sector as many office buildings and shopping malls remain under-utilized. 

The commercial component represented the majority of non-residential declines, down 5.0% to $3.1 billion in July. Nine provinces reported declines for the month, while Prince Edward Island reported an increase of 29.2% to $7.1 million. The largest declines were reported in Quebec (-7.8%) and Ontario (-3.9%), although both provinces remained above pre-COVID-19 levels. Declines in those provinces were attributed to a combination of fewer new construction starts, and several major projects winding down to completion. 

The institutional component of non-residential investment decreased 0.8% to $1.2 billion in July. Quebec reported the majority of declines for the month, more than offsetting gains in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Nationally, the industrial component was down 2.8% in July. Eight provinces reported declines, with the largest decrease in Ontario, down 4.2% to $369.5 million.

Source: Statistics Canada, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200921/dq200921a-eng.htm

Related Articles


Changing Scene


Peers & Profiles

  • Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is Canada’s top international corporate citizen in 2022. This designation was awarded to Schneider Electric by Corporate Knights, a media and research company committed to advancing a sustainable economy. Read More…

  • The Sonepar Ontario Region is proud to announce the relocation of their SESCO Central Distribution Centre (CDC) to its new location in Brampton, ON. This move has facilitated an amalgamation between Texcan’s large Brampton branch and SESCO’s CDC, as both businesses work together within one facility for the first time. Read More…