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May 2022 - construction
July 14, 2022

Investment in Canadian building construction edged down in May

Statistics Canada reports that investment in building construction edged down 0.2% to $20.6 billion in May, as many of Ontario’s unionized construction workers were on strike during the month. These strikes caused significant delays in numerous residential and non-residential construction projects throughout the province. Excluding Ontario, investment increased 1.1% at the national level.

At a sector level, non-residential investment fell 0.9% in May, while the residential sector edged up 0.1%.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction declined 0.2% to 13.0 billion in May.

Residential sector trend flattens out

In May, investment in the residential sector was largely unchanged at $15.4 billion, following robust growth that started in September 2021. Excluding Ontario, the residential sector continued its upward trend, increasing 1.3% in May.

Multi-unit construction continued to climb, increasing 3.4% to $7.0 billion, with six provinces posting gains, led by Quebec (+10.0%).

Investment in single family homes declined 2.5%, ending its seven-month growth streak. Overall, six provinces reported growth in May, which was offset by declines in four provinces, with Ontario and Quebec causing most of the fall.

Non-residential sector breaks growth streak

Investment in the non-residential sector contracted 0.9% to $5.2 billion in May, with the construction worker strike in Ontario offsetting the gains of eight provinces and driving all three components downwards.

Investment in the industrial component edged down 0.2% to $935 million, with the increase in Quebec (+2.0%) largely offset by the declines in Ontario (-1.2%).

The institutional component fell 0.8% to $1.4 billion, with seven provinces reporting declines.

Despite gains in eight provinces, the commercial component decreased 1.2% to $2.9 billion based on the strike in Ontario. This was the first decline in thirteen months.

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