Canada Building Permits Climb 8.9% in May

By Paul Vieira Features Dow Jones Newswires

Canadian building permits rose in May to reach the third-highest level on record, with the gain attributed to demand to construct residences in the country's most populous province, Ontario.

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The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities increased 8.9% on a seasonally-adjusted basis to 7.74 billion Canadian dollars ($5.96 billion) in May, Statistics Canada said Thursday. Expectations were for a 1% rise, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada

The previous month's building-permits data were revised higher, and now suggest permits edged upward 0.5% versus the earlier estimate of a 0.2% decline.

On a year-over-year basis, permits issued rose 10.8%.

Building permits are meant to provide an early indication of construction activity in Canada and are based on a survey of 2,400 municipalities, representing 95% of the country's population. A permit gives a contractor the right to build but doesn't necessarily suggest construction has commenced. This data tend to be volatile on a month-over-month basis.

According to the permits report, residential permits rose 10.8% to C$5.02 billion, while non-residential permits -- covering factories, retail space and government buildings -- advanced 5.6% to C$2.72 billion.

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Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 06, 2017 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)