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Canadian business investment is being weighed down for a fourth straight year by weakness in Alberta’s energy industry.

Spending plans for oil and gas capital projects this year are down 12 percent to C$33.2 billion from 2017, according to a Statistics Canada survey published Wednesday in Ottawa. The spending total has declined in each of the last four years from a peak of C$76.1 billion. The province of Alberta was the biggest contributor to the decline.
Weakness in energy limited the gain in overall spending on non-residential construction and machinery and equipment to 0.8 percent for 2018, to C$238.6 billion. That’s a slowdown from the 2017 increase of 3 percent and still below the total of C$272.1 billion set in 2014 before a plunge in crude oil prices.

Business investment has been one of the weak spots in a broad Canadian economic expansion, with growth being led more by government and consumer spending.

Highlights of Report
  • Spending plans for 2018 in the province of Alberta are down 5.3 percent to C$54.1 billion; in the most populous province of Ontario they are up 7.8 percent to C$73.9 billion
  • Notable gains in capital spending plans this year include a 9.9 percent rise in real estate rental and leasing to C$14.1 billion, 6.2 percent to C$16 billion in manufacturing and 6.5 percent to C$32.4 billion in public administration 
Source : Bloomberg
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