There was an encouraging report on the outlook for the construction sector from StatsCan this week.
The monthly report on building permits for November – that’s the value of approvals issued by local governments across the country – was down nationally but there was something of a spike here in Saskatchewan.
Now, our industry has been working its way through some slower times lately. After the building boom that lasted roughly a decade, we had developed a lot of capacity. But when the surge was over, the sector had to retool for a less demanding period.
This week’s building permits report, though, is offering the prospect of some improvement in the coming months as these permits turn into actual work. The total value of permits in Saskatchewan was $180 million for the month. That’s up about 25 per cent over October and almost 20 per cent higher than a year ago.
The bulk of the increase was in the non-residential sector which includes the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. The largest part of the improvement came in Regina where permit values rose by 80 per cent for the month which was 25 per cent higher than a year earlier.