Halifax Index 2020

How Halifax Measures up

The Halifax Index tells our city’s story — the strength of our economy, the health of our community, and the sustainability of our environment — and provides insights to strengthen and grow. Each year, it measures progress towards our Economic Growth Plan goals, including a scorecard of social and economic indicators.

This year, the Index serves two purposes:

  • Measure and report on the exceptional progress made in 2019
  • Identify the initial economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
Ian's Headshot

"Halifax is living through a tale of two years. In 2019 we saw strong economic growth, a growing population, and record business confidence. Labour force, employment, international student, and youth retention indicators were all very positive. We began 2020 with well-deserved optimism that it would be Halifax’s best year ever."

Ian Munro
Chief Economist

Halifax is living through a tale of two years. In 2019 we saw strong economic growth, a growing population, and record business confidence. Labour force, employment, international student, and youth retention indicators were all very positive. We began 2020 with well-deserved optimism that it would be Halifax’s best year ever.

It was not to be for reasons entirely unanticipated and outside of our control. Halifax was not immune to the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest forecast for GDP growth in 2020 calls for a contraction of 3.4 per cent. The unemployment rate is surging towards double digits and that understates the crisis. It fails to capture workers who are no longer looking for work, or who may still be employed but have seen their hours drastically reduced. Population growth will stall until borders reopen and people feel comfortable travelling and studying abroad.

As 2020 began we made the decision that this year’s edition of the Halifax Index would mark our transition to a digital format. Furthermore, the 2020 Index is unique in that we have slimmed it down to only the items that are most relevant during the COVID-19 crisis. We are leading economic recovery efforts and building on our strong foundation through the Economic Response and Recovery Plan.

As we move through this most difficult year, know that there is reason for hope. Based on the fundamental strengths we enjoyed before this crisis, Halifax will spring back to bigger and better things. Halifax has recovered before and we will recover again.

Ian Munro
Chief Economist
Halifax Partnership

The Index compares Halifax against five other Canadian "benchmark cities" that are similar in size — St. John’s, Quebec City, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (KCW), Regina, and Victoria — and measures Halifax’s growth across a range of key indicators, providing analysis on what's required to achieve better results.

People

Halifax was the 3rd-fastest growing Canadian city in 2019, gaining nearly 10,000 new residents and breaking growth records for the 4th straight year.

Labour

Halifax was in a good position heading into the COVID-19 crisis, with strong employment and labour force growth, especially for youth.

Investment

2019 was an excellent year for Halifax’s economy, but the COVID-19 crisis unexpectedly derailed businesses’ plans for the near-term.

Trade & Tourism

Trade and tourism experienced another strong year in Halifax, setting new records for air cargo volumes, overnight stays, and cruise passengers.

Living & Affordability

Many indicators showed positive movement including a record high for overall quality of life, while housing affordability remains an urgent concern.

Finance & Taxes

HRM was in a good fiscal position prior to the global pandemic but now faces tough fiscal decisions as we emerge from the crisis.


Halifax Index Presentation

On June 23rd the Halifax Partnership held a virtual event to release the Halifax Index and discuss our city's economic recovery effort. Our Chief Economist, Ian Munro, shared insights from the Index and other key economic indicators showing our current environment.

Download the Presentation:

Recovering from COVID-19

We are proactively planning for and leading economic recovery efforts with our private, public and post-secondary partners. Together, we will restart and restore Halifax’s economy and get back to our positive long-term growth trend.

×

Search

This website uses cookies
This website uses cookies to improve user experience and analyse website traffic. By using our website without adjusting your cookie settings you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Ok