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Another downturn in activity forecasted for 2017 in the industry

January 26, 2017

Today, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) is publishing its “Perspectives 2017” document, which presents forecasts for this year’s activity. This document, available in the “Publications” section of our website, is accompanied by an assessment of 2016’s activity. This assessment is an estimate based essentially on the number of hours worked in the industry during the first 10 months of last year.

Fourth year of decline for 2016

For 2016, the CCQ estimates that the industry recorded 141.1 million hours worked. This figure is slightly higher than the previous year’s total, but, because 2016 exceptionally comprised 5 working days more than 2015, it actually represents a reduction in activity. As a result, 2016 will be the fourth year in a row that we have seen a decline. The estimated decrease in work volume is 1.6 percent compared to 2015.

Decrease in activity to continue in 2017

In 2017, the industry will once again experience a downturn in work. The number of hours worked will amount to 135.5 million, which represents a 1.9 percent decrease in the number of hours per working day. This downturn will be felt in 7 of the 10 regions of Québec and in 3 of the 4 sectors of the industry.

Only the civil engineering and roadwork sector will register a modest 4 percent increase. With respect to the regions, Abitibi-Témiscamingue (+11.9 percent), Estrie (+2.1 percent) and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (+1.1 percent) will see increased activity.

After a few years characterized by a sharper slowdown, on the order of 5.3 percent annually, the CCQ notes that the situation is stabilizing. A certain upturn in activity seen at the end of 2016 could also have positive effects in 2017.

For more details on the outlook for 2017, we invite you to read the publication here (in French only).

Number of hours worked per sector
(in millions of hours)
2016 2017
Sector estimate forecast
Total 141,0 135,5
Variation* -1,6 % -1,9 %
Civil engineering and roadwork 27,0 27,5
Variation* -0,6 % 4,0 %
Industrial 10,8 9,5
Variation*  -3,9 % -10,1 %
Institutional and commercial 77,0 74,5
Variation*  -2,6 % -1,2 %
Residential 26,3 24,0
Variation* -3,0 % -6,7 %
*The percentage change takes into consideration the fact that in 2016, the construction industry’s calendar comprised 237 working days, whereas it normally comprises 232. The percentage change adjustment is -2.2% in 2016 and +2.1% in 2017.