indicatorThe Owl

Construction spending in Alberta down for sixth year in a row

Annual inflation-adjusted investment in building construction in Alberta was down by 15.0 per cent in 2020

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 10 February 2021 1 min read

With annual investment in building construction* down six years in a row, it has been a long rough ride for Alberta’s construction sector.

Compared to the peak reached in 2014 during the oil boom, inflation-adjusted annual investment in building construction in Alberta was $11.6 billion lower in 2020—a drop of 40.2 per cent.

While the slowdown brought on by the pandemic is a contributing factor, the drop reflects a longer-term decline with investment down by $8.5 billion (29.7 per cent) in 2019 compared to the 2014 peak.

If we look at Canada less Alberta, investment was down by $7.6 billion in 2020 compared to 2014 (6.3 per cent), but up by $8.7 billion (7.3 per cent) in 2019 before the impact of the pandemic.

Zeroing-in on what happened last year, annual inflation-adjusted investment in Alberta was down by 15.0 per cent ($3.0 billion). Spending was down across all of the major sub-sectors. Residential construction was down by 9.7 per cent ($1.2 billion) while non-residential fell by 23.0 per cent ($1.8 billion).

Investment fell by 16.7 per cent in Calgary metro area ($1.6 billion), by 13.7 per cent in the Edmonton metro area ($820.3 million) and by 12.8 per cent in the rest of the province (588.7 million).

Nationally, investment was down by 13.0 per cent ($19.2 billion) with every province experiencing a decline in 2020 except Manitoba.

*The investment in residential and non-residential building construction represents the spending value of building construction by households, enterprises and governments for buildings, excluding the value of land.

Answer to the previous trivia question: According to Wikipedia, Jeff Bezos initially incorporated Amazon on July 5, 1994 in Washington state using the name Cadabra, Inc.

Today’s trivia question: Completed in 2019, Edmonton’s Stantec Tower is the tallest building in Canada outside Toronto. What is the estimated cost of the project?

Investment in Alberta was down by $8.5 billion (29.7 per cent) in 2019 compared to the 2014 peak

Investment in Alberta was down by $8.5 billion (29.7 per cent) in 2019 compared to the 2014 peak


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