Halifax Economic Dashboard

Economic Snapshot

(Updated: May 2022)

  • Population estimates for July 1, 2021, from Statistics Canada have Halifax's population at 460,274. This is a 2.1% (+9,262 people) increase over 2020, which is the third-highest growth across all CMAs. Also, interprovincial migration (60%) overtook international migration (28%) as the largest source of population growth in 2021. About 58% of all new residents were aged between 15 to 54 years.
  • Retail sales were up 6.3% in February 2022 compared to a year ago, with the largest increase seen at gasoline stations (+20.2%). However, since September 2021 ( the 2-year high at gasoline stations) sales declined by 26.7%. Compared to January 2022 retail sales were up 2.4%. The largest increase was seen for clothing and clothing accessories stores (+26.1%) and the largest decline was for building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-8.3%).
  • The inflation rate in Halifax remained unchanged in April 2022 at 6.6%. This is lower than the national and provincial figures of 6.7% and 7.1%, respectively. Inflation for water, fuel, and electricity remains the highest among subcomponents at 23.9%, driven mainly by the global oil price rise following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
  • The overall office vacancy rate fell 0.6 percentage points from Q1 2021 to reach 14.2% in Q1 2022. Overall gross office rent increased by $0.36 to $29.16 psf. The industrial vacancy rate saw a decline of 1.8 percentage points, year-over-year , to reach 3.8%, with an accompanying average gross rent increase of $0.89 to hit $13.91 psf.
  • The unemployment rate remained unchanged for the first three months of 2022 at 5.6%, its lowest rate since July 2019. The participation rate was 65.4% in March, down 0.5 points since February and its lowest since June 2020. The business, building and other support services industry saw the largest growth in employment year-over-year (+31.4%), whereas the utilities industry experienced the largest decline (-25.9%) over the same period.
  • Halifax's average home price increased to $603,386 in April, up 0.9% over a month ago and 29.3% since April 2021. Market activity cooled for the fourth successive period in April with the sales-to-new listings ratio dropping to 69.3, the lowest since May 2020, from the high of 147.6 in December 2021.

Get the Facts on Halifax's Economy

To learn more about Halifax’s economy and get a definitive look at Halifax’s economic and community progress, read the Halifax Index 2021.

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