Posted on: 7/10/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
Alberta’s construction sector has been in a slump since the recession but there are some signs of improvement.
The seasonally-adjusted value of building permits issued by Alberta municipalities remains well below where it was before the recession, but it has been on the rise lately, posting increases in March, April and May.
Alberta municipalities issued $1.1 billion worth of permits in May 2019—an uptick of 5.7 per cent over April. On a year-over-basis, permits were still down by 4.2 per cent.
The value of building permits in Canada as a whole shrank in May, going from about $9.5 billion to $8.2 billion (-13.0 per cent) but were up by 5.7 per cent year-over-year.
Growth has been particularly strong for non-residential construction with the monthly value of permits growing by 9.2 per cent in May after rising by 18.6 per cent in April and 9.0 per cent in March. The year-over-year value of non-residential permits was up by 13.6 per cent compared to May 2018.
Things have been more rocky on the residential side. The value of permits issued in May was up by 3.1 per cent after losing ground in April (-1.8 per cent) and growing in March (+3.6 per cent). Year-over-year, the value of residential permits was down by 14.7 per cent.