Non-residential Leads Construction Investment

Investment in building construction declined 0.7 per cent to $17.5 billion in September, continuing a downward trend that started in May, says Statistics Canada. A decrease in the residential sector was partially offset by a small increase in the non-residential sector. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction decreased 1.5 per cent to $12 billion. Residential construction investment decreased 1.6 per cent in September, with Quebec accounting for most of the decline. However, the investment in this component was 21.6 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic value in February 2020. Investment in single family homes edged down 0.6 per cent while investment in multi-unit construction decreased 2.9 per cent. The difference in value between multi-unit and single-unit investment had been narrowing for the past few years, but a noticeable gap has opened up since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial construction investment grew by 1.8 per cent, institutional investment grew by 2.9 per cent, and industrial investment grew by 0.1 per cent. Overall, non-residential construction investment rose 1.8 per cent to $4.8 billion. Despite eight increases since the beginning of the year, non-residential investment was 6.3 per cent lower than pre-pandemic values.