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Non-residential building investment up in Q3 2017

October 16, 2017  By Statistics Canada

Investment in non-residential building construction Image: Statistics Canada

October 16, 2017 – Investment in non-residential building construction totalled $12.9 billion in the third quarter, up 3.6% from the previous quarter, and up from $12.44 billion in Q3 2016. At the national level, spending increased in all three components (institutional, industrial, and commercial), led by commercial (+$186.5 million) and institutional buildings (+$158.2 million).

Investment in educational buildings leads increase in the institutional component
Investment in the institutional component rose by 4.6% to $3.6 billion in the third quarter, following two consecutive quarterly declines. The largest gains were reported in Ontario and Quebec, led by spending on educational buildings.

Investment in educational buildings, which includes schools, colleges and universities, rose by 18% (+$285.6 million) in the third quarter to $1.9 billion. This was the third-highest investment in educational buildings since 1997, the year Statistics Canada began publishing data on investment in construction of non-residential buildings.

Spending on educational buildings accounted for approximately 15% of total investment in non-residential buildings in the third quarter, surpassing total investment in industrial buildings for the first time since the third quarter of 2011.


Spending on educational buildings increased in seven provinces, led by Ontario (+$145 million) and Quebec (+$91 million).

The Post-secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, a measure announced in the 2016 Federal Budget, which tabled plans to invest up to $2 billion in post-secondary institution infrastructure by April 30, 2018, may have contributed to the increase.

Office building leads the commercial component
Spending on commercial buildings rose 2.6% to $7.4 billion in the third quarter, with Ontario (+$127.8 million) posting the largest gain, followed by Quebec (+$112.1 million). The increase in both provinces was mainly attributable to higher investment in office building construction.

Industrial component increases, led by farm building
Investment in industrial projects increased 6.0% to $1.9 billion in the third quarter—the largest month-over-month increase since the third quarter of 2012. At the national level, the gain was the result of higher investment in the construction of farm buildings and, to a lesser extent, manufacturing plants.

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