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Building construction investment dipped 1.7% in July: StatCan


September 13, 2021
By Crane & Hoist Canada Staff

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Building construction investment dropped 1.7 per cent to $18.1 billion in July, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

Residential construction was down for the third consecutive month following a record high in April, while non-residential construction was up slightly, the agency says in a news release.

On a constant dollar basis from the year 2012, investment in building construction declined 1.6 per cent to $13 billion in July.

Single-unit construction cools

Residential construction investment was down 2.6 per cent in July, a third consecutive monthly decline after a period of strong growth from May 2020 to April 2021.

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Declines in all provinces brought investment in single-family homes down four per cent to $7.2 billion. Ontario posted the largest decrease after reaching a record high in April 2021, followed by Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Multi-unit construction investment was down one per cent to $6.2 billion in July, reflecting decreases in seven provinces. Ontario reported the largest decline, followed by British Columbia and Manitoba.

Non-residential construction ticks up

Non-residential construction investment was up 0.9 per cent in July to $4.6 billion.

Institutional investment posted its ninth consecutive increase (+2.2 per cent to $1.3 billion), with the majority of provinces and territories reporting gains in July. Construction of a York University building in Ontario as well as ongoing construction of secondary schools in Quebec and British Columbia contributed to the national growth.

Commercial investment was up 0.6 per cent to $2.5 billion in July. Alberta posted the highest increase at six per cent, due to higher spending on office buildings and buildings for trade and services.

Industrial investment was the single component to post a decline in July, edging down 0.2 per cent. Quebec decreased for a second month, while Alberta and Prince Edward Island also declined.

Investment in non-residential building construction, July 2021. Image: Statistics Canada