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.
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
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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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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 06, 2017 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)