indicatorThe Owl

Spending on building construction on par with 2019

While higher than last year, year-to-date investment was only 1.3% above where it was in 2019 and 12.7% below the level set in 2018

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 13 August 2021 1 min read

Building permits (which have been rising in Alberta) tell us where the construction sector might be heading while building investment data tell us what has actually taken place.

With regard to the latter, the situation in Alberta has definitely improved compared to last year. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, spending on building construction* over the first half of 2021 was 7.5% higher than over the same period last year. This is not surprising given the dip in investment that took place during the early part of the pandemic.

While higher than last year, year-to-date investment was only 1.3% above where it was in 2019 and 12.7% below the level set in 2018.

Hopefully, rising permit values in the province will push the actual value of investment higher over the second half of the year.

When we break down the spending into residential and non-residential, we find that the residential category was up by 21.4% over the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019 (i.e. before the pandemic). Non-residential spending was, conversely, down by 27.5%.

Nationally, year-to-date investment as of June was 26.2% higher than in 2019 with residential investment up by 39.5% and non-residential down by 2.2%.

*According to Statistics Canada, “investment in building construction represents the spending value of building construction by households, enterprises and governments for buildings, excluding the value of land” (emphasis added).

Answer to the previous trivia question: As of July 2021, Saskatchewan had the largest portion of its workforce in the self-employment category (15.79%) and Newfoundland and Labrador had the smallest (7.11%). The competition for the top spot was very close with B.C. at 15.78% and Alberta at 15.46%.

Today’s trivia question: The 13th day of the month falls on a Friday at least once a year. What is the maximum number of times this can happen in a single year?

Spending on building construction in Alberta increased by only 0.04% in June 2021 compared to May 2021

Spending on building construction in Alberta increased by only 0.04% in June 2021 compared to May 2021


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