Canada Building Permits Fall 3.5% in July

By Paul Vieira Features Dow Jones Newswires

Canadian building permits fell in July from the previous month on weaker demand to build condominiums and office buildings.

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The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities declined 3.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis to 7.92 billion Canadian dollars ($6.46 billion) in July, Statistics Canada said Thursday. Expectations were for a decline of 1.5%, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.

The month-over-month decline in permits was the first since March.

June's building-permits data were revised upward and now suggest permits rose 4.4% versus the earlier estimate of a 2.5% increase.

On a year-over-year basis, permits issued rose 12.4%.

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.

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According to the permits report, residential permits fell 2.2% to C$5.01 billion, while non-residential permits -- covering factories, retail space and government buildings -- dropped 5.7% to C$2.91 billion.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 07, 2017 09:14 ET (13:14 GMT)