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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Alexander Chute Economist
Tel: 902-424-5810Email:

March 02, 2018

Statistics Canada has revised non-residential investment data for 2017. All provinces had upward revisions compared to the previous estimate. Nova Scotia data was revised up by $8.7 million or 1.4 per cent of the unrevised estimate. The following article has been updated to reflect the revised data.

Nova Scotia's non-residential building construction investment (seasonally adjusted) was $157.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. This was 1.7 per cent lower than the previous quarter owing to decreases in industrial (-0.6%) and commercial (-3.7%) offsetting an increase in institutional and governmental (+4.2%).

Compared to the same quarter last year (Q4 2016), non-residential building construction increased 7.3 per cent. Activity was lower in the largest subsector commercial (-3.4%) but higher in industrial (+33.0%) and institutional and government (+31.7%).


Halifax non-residential building construction was up 3.3 per cent compared to the previous quarter due to growth in commercial and institutional and governmental buildings. Outside of Halifax, non-residential building construction decreased 8.4 per cent in the quarter, with decreases in commercial and government building construction.

In 2017 compared to 2016, non-residential building construction is down 6.4 per cent or $42.2 million in Nova Scotia. A decline in commercial building construction (-16.7%) offset smaller dollar increase in industrial (+19.1%) and government (+21.7%). Halifax building construction was down 11.3 per cent (or -$42.4 million) and outside of Halifax was up 0.1 per cent (or -$0.2 million).


In Canada, non-residential building construction increased in the fourth quarter of 2017 (+0.9%) with rising industrial and institutional/governmental building construction offsetting a decline in commercial.  Compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, Canadian non-residential building construction was up 5.1 per cent, with increases in industrial (+14.2%), commercial (+2.7%) and institutional and governmental (+5.7%).


In the fourth quarter 2017, non-residential building construction was down in six provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador posted the largest percentage increase at 22.4 per cent while the largest decline was seen in Prince Edward Island.

Comparing the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter in 2016, non-residential building construction was down in four provinces with the largest decline in Saskatchewan (-12.6%). Newfoundland and Labrador increased 50.6 per cent and New Brunswick was up 23.9 per cent.


On an annual basis, non-residential building construction increased 1.9 per cent in Canada with gains in five provinces and declines in five provinces. Spending was up for industrial (+5.0%), institutional/government (+3.3%), and commercial (+0.5%) buildings. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba grew with higher commercial building construction.  Ontario (+4.3%) and Quebec (+7.3%) accounted for most of the dollar increase led by gains in the commercial sector. Investment in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia were down with lower commercial investment in all three provinces.


 Statistics Canada CANSIM 026-0016

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