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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

June 17, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, comparisons of year-to-date averages and sums do not show Nova Scotia’s rapidly-changing economic situation. The DailyStats will focus on year-over-year comparisons, comparing one month with the same month in the prior year. Where possible the DailyStats will make comparisons of seasonally adjusted data from the pre-COVID-19 period (January and February 2020) with the period during which COVID-19 measures were in place from March 2020 onwards.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced today the new residential construction statistics for May 2020. Due to COVID-19, many businesses are operating on a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely.


US residential building permits increased 14.4 per cent in May 2020 compared to the revised April 2020 estimate, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1,220,000. This is 8.8 per cent below the May 2019 estimate of 1,338,000.

Year-over-year (May 2019 vs May 2020), permits for single unit structures declined 9.9 per cent. Permits for structures with 5 units or more declined 8.4 per cent while permits for structures with 2 to 4 units increased 10.8 per cent over May 2019.


In May 2020, US housing starts increased 4.3 per cent compared to the revised April 2020 estimate, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 974,000. This is 23.2 per cent below the May 2020 estimate of 1,268,000.

Year-over-year (May 2019 vs May 2020), starts for single unit structures declined 17.8 per cent while starts for structures with 5 or more units were down 33.1 per cent.


Source: US Census Bureau New Residential Construction

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