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The volume of Canada's non-residential and residential net capital stock increased in 2019

Released: 2020-11-19

A slowdown in engineering continued to dampen the growth of overall capital stock in 2019.

The volume of Canada's non-residential and residential net capital stock increased 1.8% in 2019. In value terms, Canadian net capital stock totalled $5.3 trillion.

The non-residential asset grouping is comprised of non-residential buildings and engineering structures, machinery and equipment, and intellectual property products, while the residential asset grouping is made up of new residential construction, renovations to existing structures, and ownership transfer costs.

Capital stock of engineering structures slows down

In volume terms, non-residential capital stock was up 1.0% in 2019, a similar pace to the previous two years, and more than double the 0.4% growth seen in 2016.

The stock of engineering structures rose 1.3%, which represents the lowest growth rate since 1999. The slowdown was mainly the result of the recent contraction in the oil and gas subsector. Declines in oil and gas, waterworks, and sewage engineering construction tempered overall growth.

Meanwhile, the stock of non-residential buildings construction increased 1.4% in 2019. Within this asset grouping, industrial buildings posted a significant increase (+3.4%), while shopping centers, plazas, malls and stores (-2.8%) was the only asset showing a decline.

The stock of intellectual property products was down 0.4% in 2019. Because of reduced exploration and development activities, mineral exploration and evaluation stock was down 2.8% in 2019, posting its sixth annual decline.

A decrease in the capital stock occurs if depreciation is larger than the flow of new investment.

Chart 1  Chart 1: End-year net non-residential stock
End-year net non-residential stock

British Columbia's share of non-residential capital stock continues to increase

In 2019, non-residential capital stock rose in most provinces and territories, while it declined in New Brunswick, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

British Columbia posted the largest increase in its share of Canada's non-residential capital stock, rising from 11.9% in 2018 to 12.2% in 2019. This was the fourth consecutive annual gain. The increase was mainly the result of strength in business investment in non-residential structures, owing largely to the ramping up of natural gas projects, including the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

In 2019, Alberta recorded the fifth consecutive year of decline in its share of Canada's non-residential capital stock. The contraction was the result of sustained lower investment in the oil and gas extraction subsector. Nonetheless, Alberta continued to hold the largest share of non-residential capital stock in Canada.

Residential capital stock continues to rise

Residential capital stock rose 2.5% in 2019, slightly less than in 2018 (+2.8%). Overall, residential capital stock totalled $2.6 trillion in value in 2019. Over two-thirds represents the stock of new homes, while the remainder comprises renovations to existing residential structures.

Every province and territory posted a gain in the volume of residential capital stock in 2019. Prince Edward Island's growth was its highest since 1978 and was dominated by new housing, which coincided with an influx of immigrants in recent years.

In 2019, Quebec posted the largest increase in its share of Canada's residential capital stock. This was the second consecutive annual gain as a result of strength in new housing construction.

  Note to readers

This release reflects revised estimates of investment flows and prices in accordance with the latest revision of the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts.

The classification of non-residential capital stock is based on the final demand classification used in the Supply and Use tables.

Estimates of non-residential and residential investment, depreciation and the associated net stocks are available by geographical breakdown on a current price basis, 2012 constant price basis (2012 asset price = 100) and chained (2012) dollar basis. Non-residential estimates of depreciation and stock are available by industry and by asset, using linear, geometric and hyperbolic methods. Residential estimates are available by type of investment using geometric methods.


The data visualization product "Infrastructure Statistics Hub," which is part of Statistics Canada – Data Visualization Products (Catalogue number71-607-X), is available.

The Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalogue number13-605-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is also available.

Contact information

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