Rock to Road

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Non-residential construction profits increase


September 2, 2010
By Aggregates & Roadbuilding

Sept. 2, 2010, Ottawa – Canadian non-residential construction investment
increased in the second quarter of 2010, after declining for five
consecutive quarters.

Sept. 2, 2010, Ottawa – Non-residential construction investment increased in the second quarter of 2010, after declining for five consecutive quarters. Despite the uptick in activity, industry profits will fall to a five-year low in 2010, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada's Non-Residential Construction Industry – Summer 2010.

"Although the industry finally saw gains in the second quarter, spending on commercial and industrial space will be down this year compared to 2009," saidMichael Burt, Associate Director, Industrial Economic Trends. "High vacancy rates are limiting growth. In addition, the institutional segment, which has been the industry's main source of growth over the past 18 months, is expected to weaken as government stimulus spending comes to an end."

Spending on non-residential construction is not expected to return to pre-recession levels before 2012. Growth in demand will remain too weak to offset the effects of large declines in investment at the end of 2009 and earlier this year. Falling prices also continue to detract from industry revenues.

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As a result, pre-tax profits are expected to fall to a five-year low of $1.2 billion in 2010. Improving market conditions will allow profit growth to resume in 2011, but industry profits are not expected to return to their pre-recession levels before 2014.