Strong Construction Gains Nationwide

Investment in building construction increased four per cent in February, reaching $20 billion for the first time, says Statistics Canada. Most provinces reported gains, with Quebec accounting for over 50 per cent of the increase. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction increased 3.9 per cent to $12.7 billion. Investment in single family homes rose 4.9 per cent to $8 billion in February, with increases in seven provinces led by Ontario (+5.3 per cent) and Quebec (+8.2 per cent). Multi-unit construction increased 5.1 per cent to $6.9 billion, driven primarily by strong gains in Quebec (+16.8 per cent). Conversely, Saskatchewan declined for a third straight month as it returned to more historic levels, following higher investment in October and November 2021. Overall, residential construction investment rose five per cent to $14.9 billion in February; non-residential construction investment increased 1.1 per cent to $5.1 billion; and commercial investment was up one per cent to $2.8 billion. Investment in the institutional component was largely unchanged in February and industrial construction investment rose 2.8 per cent to $893 million, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for over 90 per cent of the national gain. This was largely due to several new manufacturing and maintenance building projects in both provinces, while other provinces remained at more historic levels.