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Buildex Blog: CMD Canada’s Mark Casaletto’s global construction outlook

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by JOC Digital Media

Mark Casaletto, the vice-president and general manager of CMD Group-Canada, spoke at the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association CEO Breakfast held at Buildex Vancouver on February 24.
Buildex Blog: CMD Canada’s Mark Casaletto’s global construction outlook

Mark Casaletto, the vice-president and general manager of CMD Group-Canada, spoke at the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association CEO Breakfast held at Buildex Vancouver on February 24.

Casaletto said British Columbia is doing something unique in balancing its budgets, both on a provincial, national and international scale. It is also well positioned to weather the economic storms buffeting the globe.

If you look at Canada, all predictions have been downgraded including oil prices, and Canada has been hit by these factors, but B.C.‘s diversification has made it the exception.

In most regions, the short and mid-term outlook for construction is “not good,” he added, but the exception is again B.C.

The U.S. has a big enough economy to support itself directly, but Canada does not have that option. However Ontario and Quebec are benefitting from the U.S. economy, as is B.C., which also benefits from diversity and not just being tied to U.S. economic performance.

Global demographic shifts are also at play, he said. Demographics in Canada is “changing what we build,” including investment shifting away from university buildings and towards K-12 facilities.

Only B.C. is projecting balanced budgets, and is the only province in Canada where based on fiscal climate the federal government can have complete confidence in investing in infrastructure.

B.C. is also outpacing the country on all key metrics, including GDP performance and job creation, Casaletto said. There is growth in other provinces, but “the underbelly of those provinces is not good,” he added, and predicted a decade of austerity for Ontario.

In terms of construction, Casaletto said, there should be an uptick in hotel construction starts, since 80 per cent of those visiting B.C. are Americans. The office sector has been “solid,” and confidence will keep this trend going.

Retail construction starts are also on the rise, and “B.C. is leading the nation in retail spending,” Casaletto said.

Public investment for institutional construction is shifting from buildings to civil, he said. Total engineering investment in Canada has historically been 40 per cent oil and gas, 23 per cent transportation, 14 per cent for electric power, eight per cent for sewage and waterworks, 13 per cent of marine and mining, and two per cent for communications.

Casaletto also said while China is slowing down, it’s going from hyper growth to mere steady growth, which is still a good thing.

Politically in the short term, Casaletto said, “who knows?” He added he could not have predicted oil prices would still be low, but in B.C. the outlook is still good.

 

In the long term, Casaletto cited increased U.S. demand, a shortage of skilled labour, changing demographics, expanding exports to the pacific, and infrastructure commitments.

Full disclosure: The Journal of Commerce is part of CMD Canada.

Mark Casaletto, the vice-president and general manager of CMD Group-Canada, spoke at the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association CEO Breakfast held at Buildex Vancouver on February 24.

Casaletto said British Columbia is doing something unique in balancing its budgets, both on a provincial, national and international scale. It is also well positioned to weather the economic storms buffeting the globe.

If you look at Canada, all predictions have been downgraded including oil prices, and Canada has been hit by these factors, but B.C.‘s diversification has made it the exception.

In most regions, the short and mid-term outlook for construction is “not good,” he added, but the exception is again B.C.

The U.S. has a big enough economy to support itself directly, but Canada does not have that option. However Ontario and Quebec are benefitting from the U.S. economy, as is B.C., which also benefits from diversity and not just being tied to U.S. economic performance.

Global demographic shifts are also at play, he said. Demographics in Canada is “changing what we build,” including investment shifting away from university buildings and towards K-12 facilities.

Only B.C. is projecting balanced budgets, and is the only province in Canada where based on fiscal climate the federal government can have complete confidence in investing in infrastructure.

B.C. is also outpacing the country on all key metrics, including GDP performance and job creation, Casaletto said. There is growth in other provinces, but “the underbelly of those provinces is not good,” he added, and predicted a decade of austerity for Ontario.

In terms of construction, Casaletto said, there should be an uptick in hotel construction starts, since 80 per cent of those visiting B.C. are Americans. The office sector has been “solid,” and confidence will keep this trend going.

Retail construction starts are also on the rise, and “B.C. is leading the nation in retail spending,” Casaletto said.

Public investment for institutional construction is shifting from buildings to civil, he said. Total engineering investment in Canada has historically been 40 per cent oil and gas, 23 per cent transportation, 14 per cent for electric power, eight per cent for sewage and waterworks, 13 per cent of marine and mining, and two per cent for communications.

Casaletto also said while China is slowing down, it’s going from hyper growth to mere steady growth, which is still a good thing.

Politically in the short term, Casaletto said, “who knows?” He added he could not have predicted oil prices would still be low, but in B.C. the outlook is still good.

In the long term, Casaletto cited increased U.S. demand, a shortage of skilled labour, changing demographics, expanding exports to the pacific, and infrastructure commitments.

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