Private and public investment

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2011 (intentions) (Previous release)

Investment in capital construction and machinery and equipment is expected to rise 3.3% in 2011 to $349.1 billion.

Much of the recovery from the 2009 economic downturn occurred in 2010 due to strong growth on the part of both public (+17.5%) and private (+8.0%) investment. If intentions are realized, increases in 2011 will be led by private investment, which is expected to grow 3.8% to $261.3 billion.

Significant private capital spending intentions are anticipated from the mining and oil and gas extraction sector, which is expected to grow 11.4% to $53.0 billion.

 Investment intentions recovering

Note to readers

Housing starts are forecast under high, medium and low scenarios by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. These scenarios are used to estimate new housing investment, a key component of the overall housing forecast estimates.

The 2011 estimates for housing in this release are based on the the mid-case scenario for each province. The table "Capital spending in Canada, 2011 intentions, by scenario", which appears at the end of this release, covers all three scenarios.

Investment intentions for non-residential construction and machinery and equipment are based upon a sample survey of 28,000 private and public organizations. This survey was conducted between October 2010 and late January 2011.

Data in this release are expressed in current dollars.

By investment component, construction is expected to increase 3.6% to $240.6 billion and will account for more than two-thirds of total capital spending.

Canada's housing sector is forecast to increase to $94.7 billion in 2011, up 1.5%, following 15.5% growth in 2010.

Mining and oil and gas extraction sector fuels investment

Investment intentions by companies in the oil and gas extraction sector will reach an estimated $35.7 billion in 2011, up $3.0 billion (+9.1%) from 2010.

Powered by a host of new projects in the Alberta oil sands, investment in non-conventional oil extraction is expected to rise 27.8% in 2011 to $14.3 billion.

Investment in the mining sector is expected to total $11.5 billion in 2011, up 23.8%. This is the second year of strong growth in this sector, following a 31.8% increase in 2010. Much of the additional capital spending is earmarked for the development of several metal ore mining projects.

Investment in support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction is expected to rise 3.9% in 2011 to $5.7 billion.

Primary metal manufacturing set to increase

Overall, the manufacturing sector intends to invest 15.1% more on capital construction and machinery and equipment in 2011, reaching a total of $17.1 billion. This growth is expected mainly to be due to strong gains in the primary metal manufacturing industry (+67.7%), which will account for more than half of the entire sector's expected increase. Investment intentions for most of the remaining industries in this sector are expected to increase modestly from 2010.

Canada's transportation and warehousing sector is expected to rise 14.4% to $22.1 billion in 2011. Most of this increase can be attributed to an increase of over $1.5 billion (+28.0%) in the transit and ground passenger transportation industry.

Investment by public administration expected to remain stable

Following a 19.3% increase in 2010, investment spending by the public administration sector is expected to total $42.8 billion, down 0.2%.

Only provincial governments are expecting to increase their capital spending in 2011. Provincial government capital outlays are expected to reach a total of $17.5 billion, up 2.5%. Spending by the federal government is expected to fall by 7.2%, while municipal capital spending is expected to decrease slightly by 0.4%.

Investment increases in most regions

Although increases in investment intentions are widespread across Canada, both Alberta and Quebec show considerable strength.

Capital outlays in Alberta are expected to increase 4.3% to $73.5 billion, primarily due to higher investment intentions in oil and gas extraction.

In Quebec, higher investment intentions in the manufacturing, utilities, mining and oil and gas extraction sectors are behind an anticipated increase of 3.8% to $66.6 billion.

Available on CANSIM: tables 029-0005, 029-0007 to 029-0022, 029-0024, 032-0001 and 032-0002.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2803.

The publication Private and Public Investment in Canada, Intentions, 2011 (61-205-X, free), will be available soon.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact David Ogden (613-951-4800;, Investment and Capital Stock Division.