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

September 03, 2014

Revised data from Statistics Canada made only small changes to non-residential construction activity for the first half of the year. Nova Scotia's non-residential construction investment was revised to $175.2 million in the second quarter from the initial estimate of $173.5 million.

In the second quarter of 2014, non-residential building construction in Nova Scotia declined 5.4 per cent from the previous quarter to $175.2 million (seasonally adjusted). Compared with the same quarter in 2013, non-residential building construction is down 7.0 per cent. This decline appears to be more pronounced in Halifax non-residential construction, which declined by 9.6 per cent compared to Q1 2014 and 19.5 per cent compared to Q2 2013 .

Canada non-residential building construction increased in the quarter by 0.5 per cent with the revised estimate whereas an 0.5 per cent decline was reported in the initial release. Compared to a year ago, six provinces saw increases led by growth in Quebec (+17.3%), New Brunswick (+15.0%), and Prince Edward Island (+14.4%).

The year-over-year and quarterly declines in non-residential building construction activity in Nova Scotia are attributable to falling commercial sector investments. Partial offsetting the decline in the commercial sector over the past year are gains in industrial (+45.7%) and a institutional and governmental (+12.0%).

Halifax appears to be the main source of volatility in commercial sector building construction, falling 14.3 per cent for the quarter and lower by 31.1 per cent from last year. Building construction in the industrial sector within Halifax was up 94.5 per cent compared to Q2 2013. Institutional and governmental building construction was down in Halifax by 11.2 per cent in the quarter and 8.7 per cent compared to last year. . Looking at year-to-date figures for Halifax, the declines are more muted, with total nonresidential down by 14.0 per cent compared to the first half of 2013, commercial down by 23.1 per cent, and institutional down by 7.2 per cent.

For Canada, investment in commercial buildings was up for the fourth consecutive quarter reaching $8.0 billion. The largest contribution to growth came from Ontario and Saskatchewan for office building and retail and wholesale outlets. Construction in industrial sector fell 6.3 per cent in Q2 compared to Q2 2013.

Statistics Canada CANSIM 026-0016

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