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Capital spending intentions up 2.2% in revised outlook

Ottawa, ON -- Total capital spending in Canada on plant, equipment and housing should reach the $212 billion mark i...


Ottawa, ON — Total capital spending in Canada on plant, equipment and housing should reach the $212 billion mark in 2003, up 2.2% from the February forecast, according to revised intentions of public and private investment compiled by Statistics Canada.

Total investment is expected to reach $212.5 billion this year. This would represent a 4.0% increase from 2002, doubling the increase anticipated in first intentions announced in February.

This new strength is coming from established sectors such as manufacturing and conventional oil and gas extraction, while there is still no sign of renewed spending by the information and communication technology industries. The public sector and housing are, nonetheless, contributing over half of the increase.

Housing investment alone is expected to rise 4.2% to $57.4 billion as a result of increases in the two major components: new housing and renovations.

Businesses, governments and institutions are expected to invest $155.1 billion on plant and equipment, compared with $149.3 billion for 2002. This would be an increase of 3.9% from 2002.

Manufacturing industries now expect an increase of $2.3 billion over 2002, restoring nearly the entire decline in 2002. This increase is coming from motor vehicle manufacturing, paper mills, and aluminum production.

The finance and insurance sector is expecting a billion dollar increase in 2003, this on the heels of $2 billion drop for 2002. Banks and auto leasing take credit for the 10.9% increase in the sector.

While spending in the oil and gas sector appears flat at just over $23 billion, the conventional oil extraction industry is expecting a $2.2-billion increase, largely from east coast off shore work. The non-conventional industry, meanwhile, expects a $2-billion drop as a result of completed projects.

Capital spending by municipalities in 2003 is expected to reach $11.1 billion, up 13.8% over investment levels for 2002. The increase is concentrated in construction spending on infrastructure.

Combined with all other levels of government, spending by departments should reach $21.1 billion in 2002, a 6.7% increase.

Investment by the information and communication technology (ICT) sector is expected to amount to $10.4 billion in 2003, a 12.2% decline.

A decline of 25.7% is anticipated in the manufacturing component. Goods-related services and intangible services are expected to drop 14.6% and 10.6%, respectively.

Most regions are still expecting increases, the largest being Nunavut (+20.2%) and New Brunswick (+11.2%). The largest decrease is in the Northwest Territories (-34.3%), largely due to the completion of diamond mining projects.