Ottawa, ON—For a fourth consecutive month, investment in building construction decreased. In August, investment decreased two per cent to $17.7 billion, as reported by Statistics Canada. Residential construction investment was also down in August.
Apart from Nova Scotia, residential construction investment decreased 2.9 per cent in every province for August. In addition, investment in single-family homes was down 2.6 per cent to $7.0 billion, with Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia posting the most significant declines. The multi-unit construction investment sector also reported a decrease across all provinces, down 3.3 per cent nationally to $6.0 billion in August.
Despite a fourth consecutive monthly decrease, single-unit construction was 25.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.
The institutional sector records gains
Despite the declines in residential construction investment, non-residential construction investment rose 0.6 per cent in August to $4.7 billion. As well, for a tenth consecutive month, institutional investment increased (up 1.8 per cent to $1.3 billion), with Ontario (up 4.3 per cent) and Quebec (up 2.2 per cent) leading all provinces. According to Statistics Canada, this was the highest level of investment in institutional construction since March 2012.
In addition, commercial investment was mostly unchanged in August (up 0.1 per cent), with gains in seven provinces offsetting the declines in Ontario (down 0.5 per cent), British Columbia (down 1.3 per cent) and Nova Scotia (down 2.4 per cent). Industrial construction also recorded a gain, led by investment in Ontario.