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Positive outlook for Ontario construction industry

Contractors expect to conduct more ICI business in the coming year.


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March 7, 2013

According to the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS), Ontario’s industrial, commercial and institutional construction industry is feeling positive about its prospects in the coming year. The OCS Construction Barometer, based on an Ipsos-Reid survey of 550 contractors, hit a rating of 60 (on a scale of 100), up three points from last year, marking the first increase in expectations since 2010. The Construction Barometer gauges contractors’ perceptions of business conditions over the next 12 months. Measured on a scale of zero to 100, a reading above 50 indicates the amount contractors who expect to conduct more business in the coming year is greater than those who do not. The larger the gap above 50, the greater the level of optimism. The strength of the feeling in southwestern Ontario is encouraging considering the depressed conditions in the area over the past several years. However, it must also be noted that expectations in Eastern Ontario, particularly around Ottawa, have dropped from nearly 60 on the 2012 Construction Barometer to below 50 this year. “More contractors are expecting to do more work this year than last,” says Sean Strickland, chief executive officer of the OCS. “The Barometer is pointing to increased investment and increased opportunity for job creation in the ICI construction sector. We are seeing particular optimism across southern and central Ontario — through the GTA, from Niagara to Windsor and north into Barrie and Muskoka.” The 2013 Construction Barometer was unveiled at the 13th annual OCS State of the Industry and Outlook Conference, where keynote economic speaker Derek Burleton, deputy chief economist with TD Bank Financial Group, and Katherine Jacobs, director of research and operations with the OCS, provided an overview of the construction outlook in Ontario. The Ontario Construction Secretariat was formed in 1993 as a joint labour/management organization representing 25 labour unions and their contractor partners in the unionized Industrial, Commercial and Institutional construction sectors in Ontario.


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