In 2015, non-residential capital investment in Alberta fell by 23.4% from 2014 to $74.9 billion. (This estimate excludes housing investment.) Construction spending fell 27.7%, and spending on machinery and equipment 10.4%. Most of the 2015 decline was the result of sharply lower oil and gas investment: conventional oil and gas investment fell 38.3% to $13.8 billion, oil sands investment dropped by 37% to $22.5 billion and oil and gas services by 12.5% to $2.4 billion. The major sectors with the highest investment growth in 2015 were arts, entertainment and recreation (up 53.2%), provincial government (up 50.8%), educational services (up 48.4%) and information and culture (up 28.9%).
In 2015, Alberta's per capita investment spending was $19,716, the second highest spending of all provinces behind Newfoundland and Labrador, and more than two-and-a-half times the Canadian average of $7,046 per capita.
In 2016, Alberta investment is forecast to again drop sharply by 11.9% from 2015 to $66 billion (based on investment intentions for 2016). This decline is again the result of low oil and gas prices which is expected to lead to a 31.3% drop in conventional oil and gas investment, to a 24.5% decline in oil sands spending and to a 36.3% fall in spending by the oil and gas services sector. Construction spending is expected to drop 9.9% and spending on machinery and equipment 16.6%. The strongest growing sectors in 2016 are expected to be education (up 63.0%), wholesale trade (up 10.8%) and transportation and warehousing (up 8.6%). Large declines are expected for administrative services and waste management (down 36.1%), arts, entertainment and recreation (down 11.7%) and professional, scientific and technical services (down 9.8%).