One part of the economy that is both easy to predict and foundational to growth is the construction sector. It generally is the result of other parts of the economy faring well – businesses that are growing need more space to accommodate added staff who, in turn need new houses and schools for their kids.
It is also easy to predict. Just look at building permit values issued by municipalities today and you’ll see how busy the construction sector will be in a few months.
We now have the province-wide figures for May and, it would appear, builders’ tools will be quieter this summer and fall.
They are down in just about every category when compared to this time a year ago. Residential permits fell about 20 percent while non-residential dropped approximately 15 points from May last year. This was especially notable in the industrial category – things like mills or mines – fell 30-percent and governments are retracting too with institutional spending declining more than 30 points. About the only one rising is commercial – things such as retail and office buildings – which increased 30-percent.