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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

January 17, 2017

Nova Scotia's non-residential building construction investment (seasonally adjusted) was $137.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. This was 3.6 per cent lower than the previous quarter owing to declines in all industrial (-9.5 per cent) and commercial (-4.4 per cent) construction, which were partially offset by growth in institutional and governmental building construction (+6.7 per cent).

Compared to the same quarter last year (Q4 2015), non-residential building construction was down 24.9 per cent. Activity was lower in industrial (-42.7%) and commercial (-24.5%) construction while institutional and governmental construction was up slightly (+0.5%).

Halifax non-residential building construction was down 13.0 per cent compared to the previous quarter due to declines in commercial (-14.7 per cent) and institutional (-5.5 per cent) construction with partially offsetting growth in industrial construction (+7.5 per cent). Outside of Halifax, non-residential building construction increased 7.7 per cent in the quarter, with growth in commercial and institutional construction (both up 15.4 per cent) more than offsetting a decrease in industrial construction (-11.8 per cent).

Compared to 2015, Halifax non-residential construction was down 23.1 per cent in 2016, with declines in all three components. Compared to 2015, non-residential investment outside of Halifax was up 17.1 per cent in 2016, boosted by commercial and institutional construction.

Comparing 2016 to 2015, non-residential building construction was down 9.9 per cent in Nova Scotia. Declines were seen in the largest component, commercial building construction (-5.9 per cent) and also in industrial building construction (-31.6%). Institutional and governmental building construction grew by 1.3 per cent.

In Canada, non-residential building construction decreased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2016 (-0.7 per cent) continuing a general downward trend since the beginning of 2015. Construction activity for the quarter was down 2.8 percent for industrial building construction, attributable to lower investment in farm and utilities building construction. Commercial building investment was down 0.9 per cent due to lower spending on office buildings. Institutional building construction was up 0.5 per cent in the quarter with higher spending nursing homes and retirement residences at the national level. 

On an annual basis, Canadian non-residential building construction was down 1.5 per cent in 2016 compared to 2015, with declines in industrial (-5.0 per cent) and commercial (-2.5 per cent) construction partially offset by growth in institutional and governmental construction (+2.6 per cent).

In the fourth quarter 2016, non-residential building construction was down in six provinces. Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick posted the largest percentage increases while the largest decline was seen Newfoundland and Labrador.

Comparing 2016 to 2015, non-residential building construction was down in five provinces including Nova Scotia, with the largest decline in Newfoundland and Labrador. Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia posted increases.




 Statistics Canada CANSIM 026-0016

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