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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

December 31, 2018


The trade data in the economic accounts represent provincial total and net expenditures in interprovincial (intP) and international (intN) markets. As there are important differences in the characteristics of intN and intP markets, it is useful to provide a separate analysis. In this note, the focus is on interprovincial (intP) trade.

Several components of interprovincial trade are considered separately and in combination. These include exports, imports, goods, services, total (exports plus imports) and net (exports less imports) trade. 

Total interprovincial trade is the sum of interprovincial imports and exports, for goods and services. 

Total intP trade is comprised of four components.

In 2017, in order by value, they are:

  • interprovincial services-imports ($8.8 billion);
  • interprovincial goods-imports ($5.9 billion);
  • interprovincial services-exports ($4.6 billion); and
  • interprovincial goods-exports ($3.9 billion);
  • Summed, they total $23.1 billion.

By commodity category:

  • interprovincial total services trade was valued at $13.4 billion (57.7% share), making up the larger portion of interprovincial trade
  • interprovincial total goods trade was valued at $3.5 billion (42.3% share).

By market category:

  • interprovincial total imports were valued at $14.6 billion (63.3% share), making up the larger portion of interprovincial trade
  • interprovincial total exports were valued at $8.5 billion (36.7% share).

The result is, Nova Scotia's interprovincial net trade is a $6.2 billion excess of imports over exports.



All values and growth rates are in current market prices.  Variations in commodity prices (particularly for volatile internationally traded goods like food and energy) can influence these growth rates and levels. 



The trade openness index is a measure of the relative increase in trade growth to GDP growth. The total interprovincial trade openness index provides evidence to the expansion or contraction of the various interprovincial trade sectors. 


The interprovincial trade overview presented above provides insight Nova Scotia trade performance since the recession of 2009. The following overview provides a longer-range view to highlight trade over the last 35 years. This period (1992-2017) saw rapid global trade expansion, as China entered the international market, Interprovincial trade followed a different pattern than international trade. It appears that interprovincial trade was, in aggregate, less unaffected by global events. Interprovincial exports of goods, however, closely matches the international trade openness pattern.

Statistics Canada Tables  36-10-0222-01



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