Investment in the economy can be made by businesses, governments, and non-profit institutions which add to the capital stock for the production of goods and services in an economy. Investment can include capital investment in business expansion, maintenance and renewal construction, infrastructure, venture capital, and more.
Alberta has one of Canada’s highest levels of investment and has led the country in per-capita investment for most of the past decade. Historically, Alberta's high levels of non-residential investment can be attributed to Alberta’s vast oil and gas sector.
Alberta's non-residential investment per capita highest in Canada
One method to gain a better understanding of the scale of investment occurring across jurisdictions is to look at the amount of non-residential investment per capita, meaning the amount of capital investment per resident. In 2022, Alberta's per capita investment spending was $14,000, which was the highest per capita spending of the provinces and 78% higher than the Canadian average of $7,880 per capita.
Alberta's capital investment by sector
The data on Alberta's investment by sector reveals that although the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas sector has the highest level of investment, other sectors such as transportation and warehousing have seen strong growth, with investment in industrial warehouses and distribution centers in the Edmonton and Calgary regions propelling investment to its highest levels since the data series began.
Capital investment grows in most sectors
Following a decline in investment in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas in 2020 and 2021, there has been a substantial uptick in investment in 2022. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction increased by 29.0% to $24.6 billion, driving the overall increase. There were also significant gains within utilities, construction sector investment, and transportation and warehousing. Conversely, manufacturing decreased by 31.2% to $2.6 billion, partly due to the completion of construction of a petrochemical manufacturing facility located in Alberta's industrial heartland.
Trends show increasing investment outside oil and gas, diversifying the economy
Jurisdictions with a more diversified economy are better equipped to navigate recessions which may heavily impact certain sectors more than others. Overall, investment within Alberta has generally decreased since 2014 when oil and gas investment made up a significant portion of investment figures. However, when we observe all other sectors outside of the oil and gas sector, we can see that investment is increasing with the 2022 investment figures increasing to the highest levels since the dataset began in 2006. This increased investment outside oil and gas is helping Alberta diversify its economy.