Construction spending could rebound next year amid government support, report says

Consultants at BTY Group say construction activity could pick up next year across the country amid anticipated spending on infrastructure and renewable energy.

The international consulting firm says it predicts construction costs will rise three per cent to five per cent in 2021 for Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, with lower spending levels in Alberta and Manitoba amid new restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Meanwhile, BTY estimates that construction costs in Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada could be flat or rise up to two per cent, as low interest rates offset rising oil and lumber prices.

The consultancy says there is uncertainty around home construction, given this year's drop in immigration and foreign investment during the pandemic.

But BTY's report also says government stimulus spending could help the construction industry find its footing next year.

BTY pointed to the federal government's growth plan, which calls for a $10 billion investment in renewable energy, broadband infrastructure, building retrofits, agriculture irrigation and electric vehicle charging stations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2020.

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