In 2016, non-residential capital investment in Alberta fell by 17.9% from 2015 to $62.1 billion. (This estimate excludes housing investment.) Construction spending fell 20.7%, while spending on machinery and equipment fell 8.7%. Most of the 2016 decline was the result of sharply lower oil and gas investment: conventional oil and gas investment fell 44.4% to $8.1 billion, oil sands investment dropped by 29.1% to $16.6 billion and oil and gas services fell by 54.8% to $978 million. The major sectors with the highest investment growth in 2016 were real estate, rental and leasing (up 39.6%), retail trade (up 11.7%), and educational services (up 64.1%).
In 2016, Alberta's per capita investment spending was $14,606, the second highest spending of all provinces behind Newfoundland and Labrador, and more than two times the Canadian average of $6,579 per capita.
In 2017, Alberta investment is forecast to drop slightly by 1.9% from 2016 to $61 billion (based on investment intentions for 2017). This decline is again the result of lower oil and gas prices affecting large projects in the oil sands, which is expected to result in a 27.4% decline in investment to $12 billion, while conventional oil is expected to increase investment by 63.4% to $13.2 billion. Construction spending is expected to increase 1.1% and spending on machinery and equipment to drop 10.4%. The strongest growing sectors in 2017 are expected to be conventional oil and gas (up 63.4%), mining (up 33.4%), utilities (up 25.3%), forest products (up 50.6%), professional, scientific and technical services (up 16.5%), and accommodation and food services (up 9.6%). Large declines are expected for oil sands (down 27.4%), petroleum and coal products (down 32.1%), real estate, rental and leasing (down 23.1%) and educational services (down 21.0%).