Hamilton bucks national trend with strong quarter in construction investment
Investment in commercial building construction increased by 8 per cent in Hamilton in the second quarter of this year.
Investment in Hamilton's construction sector is up, bucking a national trend.
Numbers released by Statistics Canada shows that across the country investment in non-residential building construction fell 3.4 per cent to $12.5 billion in the second quarter of the year.
This follows five straight quarters of growth.
Statistics are based on the Building Permits Survey of Canadian municipalities.
StatsCan reports that a strike by construction workers in Quebec was the primary cause of the drop. Investment fell in 23 of 34 census metropolis areas, with the largest declines in Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto, but investment increased in Hamilton and Calgary.
In Hamilton, non-residential investment is up 8 per cent in the second quarter from the first. Since the beginning of 2012, investment in Hamilton's non-residential construction sector has increased six quarters in a row.
Hamilton's director of economic development, Neil Everson, attributes the city's strong showing to the diversification of the local economy and support from city council for economic growth initiatives.
"Over the last few years, building investment has grown significantly. Since 2008, non-residential construction investment has doubled. And in 2012, we set a record with $1.5 billion in building permits."
Everson cautioned that investment and growth in Hamilton's economy can always be tempered by "external factors" like the value of the Cdn. dollar and demand from U.S. markets, but he sees no reason on the horizon why "the business community will slow its expansion and investment" in Hamilton.