Canadian private sector sees drop in investment from 2015-19: report

By Mohsin Abbas / Local Journalism Initiative
7 of 15 Canadian industries experienced an overall decline in investment from 2015 to 2019, according to a new analysis by the Fraser Institute, an independent non-partisan Canadian think tank.
“In a troubling trend, a wide range of industries in Canada have experienced a decline in investment, which is bad news for the economy,” said Steven Globerman, a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Industry-Level Private Sector Capital Expenditures in Canada: 1990-2019.
From 2015 to 2019 more domestic industries experienced decreases in capital investment than at any time since 1990.  This, despite the absence of a significant recession similar to what Canada experienced in the early 1990s and 2008-09. The oil and gas industry experienced the most significant decrease at -48%.  Other industries that experienced significant decrease included agriculture, forestry, and fishing -19%, utilities -19%, and retail trade -11%.
“If policymakers in Ottawa and across Canada want to help improve private-sector investment performance, they should enact tax and regulatory reforms, particularly now as Canada emerges from the COVID recession,” said Globerman.  There’s some fear that an associated decline in investment in equipment, machinery and intellectual property will also affect productivity and property standards.