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Remaining useful service life ratios of non-residential capital stock, 2015

Released: 2018-01-19

In 2015, 66.0% of Canadian non-residential capital stock's useful service life remained, the same percentage as a year earlier. Both the government (66.9%) and the non-profit institutions serving household (70.1%) sectors posted decreases in the estimate of the percent of their remaining useful life, which represents the ratio of the average age of the asset relative to its expected service life.

In 2015, among the four broad asset categories forming Canadian non-residential capital stock, only machinery and equipment posted an increase in its estimate of remaining useful life at 55.7%, similar to the 2009 ratio of 55.8%. This was the second consecutive yearly gain.

Due to lower investment in oil and gas production facilities, the estimate of the 2015 remaining useful service life of non-residential engineering capital stock stood at 69.9%, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous year. This was the first decrease since 2009, the first year of available data.

The estimate of the industrial property products remaining useful service life was down from 64.2% in 2014 to 63.0% in 2015, while the estimate of remaining useful service life for non-residential buildings remained unchanged at 63.2%.

Seven provinces and territories saw decreased ratios

The majority of the provinces and territories showed decreases in the estimate of their non-residential capital stock's remaining useful service life. In 2015, the percentage ranged from a low of 52.9% in the Northwest Territories to a high of 70.9% in Nunavut. Although the estimate for Nunavut of its non-residential capital stock's remaining useful service life fell from 2009 to 2015, due to deceleration in non-residential engineering investment, it remained the highest in Canada.

With the slowdown in the oil and gas subsector in 2015, Alberta and Saskatchewan posted estimates of 70.7% and 69.1% respectively, both down 0.4 percentage points from the previous year. These were the first decreases since 2009.

As in 2014, the Northwest Territories and the three Maritime provinces had the lowest estimates of remaining useful service life in Canada. New Brunswick (60.7%), Prince Edward Island (58.5%) and Nova Scotia (58.4%) did not see an improvement in their estimates in 2015.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Non-residential capital stock's remaining useful service life by province and territory¹, 2015
Non-residential capital stock's remaining useful service life by province and territory¹, 2015

Remaining useful service life of infrastructure assets decreases in 2015

The three groups of assets forming Canada's infrastructure foundation posted decreases in the estimate of their remaining useful service life in 2015.

The percentage of the remaining useful service life for highways, roads, streets, bridges and overpasses decreased from 65.7% in 2014 to 65.1% in 2015. Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan recorded an improvement in their estimate, while the rest of the provinces and territories posted declines.

After peaking at 73.9% in 2013, the percentage of the remaining useful service life of Canada's waterworks engineering fell from 73.8% in 2014 to 72.6% in 2015. Due to regular investment since 2009, Nunavut's waterworks engineering assets remained the youngest in Canada, reaching 80.2% in 2015. Although Nova Scotia's estimate increased for the fifth consecutive year, it remained the lowest level in Canada at 63.4%.

In 2015, the percentage of the remaining useful service life of sewage engineering decreased for the third consecutive year, to 62.6%. Alberta (72.3%) posted the highest remaining useful life for sewage engineering infrastructure in 2015, while Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories had the lowest percentage in Canada (48.0%).

  Note to readers

The estimate of the percent of the remaining useful life of an asset represents the ratio of the average age of the asset relative to its expected service life. The change in the estimate can be driven by the change in either the investment level or in the investment mix.

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Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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