Matt Nolan from Infometrics says non-residential building activity in the three months to July rose 1.8% on the same period in 2011, but relied on activity in Christchurch and its surrounding regions to stay in the black.
Excluding Canterbury, activity was down 13% from a year earlier and the cost of building non-residential buildings increased slightly.
Mr Nolan attributes the decline in non-residential building activity mostly to reduced expenditure by the Government and local councils.
He says public sector activity fell 37% in the three months to July compared to a year earlier.
He says activity was at quite a high level from 2007 - 2009, as the Government was investing and then looking at stabilising the economy during the global financial crisis, but it is now pulling back from that planned activity.