Building Construction Investment Slides

Total investment in building construction decreased 3.6 per cent to $15.4 billion in March, with declines in both residential (-3.3 per cent to $10.5 billion) and non-residential (-4.3 per cent to $4.9 billion) investment, says Statistics Canada. Construction in March was negatively affected by COVID-19 restrictions, especially in Quebec, which shut down all non-essential building construction on March 25. National declines coincided with a drop in construction hours worked. The overall decline in residential investment in March was driven by the multi-unit dwellings component, which fell 6.9 per cent. Six provinces posted declines, with the largest decrease in Quebec (-23.3 per cent). The single-unit dwelling component of residential investment rose slightly in March, up 0.6 per cent. For non-residential investment all three components – commercial, institutional, and industrial – decreased, leading to the first overall decline since November 2018. Prince Edward Island was the only province to report growth in non-residential investment for the month, up 1.4 per cent.