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Infrastructure and construction to offset economic slump in 2016

Infrastructure and construction to offset economic slump in 2016

A new report on the Canadian construction industry forecasts that major infrastructure investments will create stability in an environment beset by low oil and low commodity prices and a lower-value loonie. Overall, BTY's annual Market Intelligence Report on construction costs across Canada predicts that the nation's construction industry will be able to adapt to lower economic expectations in other sectors.

BTY, founded in western Canada and now with offices in Canada, the U.S. and Turkey, consults on costs and risks for clients who design, build, finance and operate real estate and infrastructure assets. The BTY report issued Dec. 30 says the anticipated uptick in activity driven by planned federal, provincial and municipal infrastructure investment will help bolster workloads and foster healthy competition in the marketplace. There should also be increased demand for skilled trades, due in part to a large number of retiring workers, but this will vary by region and sector.

"The Canadian construction industry has demonstrated time and again its ability to adapt to shifts in demand from sector to sector," said Joe Rekab, managing partner at BTY, in a media statement. "We see multiple large transportation and energy projects offsetting the oil and gas downturn and the long anticipated slowing in the residential sector. The message is slow but steady growth."

Ontario will see sustained, substantial horizontal and vertical infrastructure spending coupled with healthy residential and commercial construction, says BTY.

Alberta and Saskatchewan have committed to sizeable increases in infrastructure investment to offset sharply reduced activity in the oil and gas sector, while B.C.'s strong residential and commercial sectors will maintain momentum as mega-projects in hydro, natural gas and airport and port infrastructure get underway. Quebec will also see continuing investment in major transportation and health care infrastructure as well as multibillion-dollar mining and energy projects, BTY predicts.

BTY has been publishing its annual industry review of construction cost forecasts across Canada since 2003.

Over the past three years, the firm has been involved in 20 different public-private partnership projects in 14 states in the United States. BTY is currently providing Lenders' Technical, Environmental and Social Advisory services on three major health care campuses in Turkey.


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