Bloomberg News

Canadian Building Permits Fall for Second Month Led by Ontario

October 06, 2011

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian building permits fell for a second consecutive month in August, with the province of Ontario leading declines in residential and non-residential projects.

The value of municipal permits fell 10.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted C$5.90 billion ($5.67 billion), following a revised 0.4 percent decline in July, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. The drop was larger than any of the 12 responses to a Bloomberg survey of economists, which had a median forecast for a 0.3 percent advance.

The Canadian economy shrank in the second quarter and August saw stock prices decline globally after U.S. government debt lost a top credit rating and investors focused on Europe’s debt crisis. Tighter mortgage rules set out by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty earlier this year have also slowed home purchases.

Permits for non-residential construction dropped 16.6 percent to C$2.27 billion in August, Statistics Canada said.

Commercial projects such as office buildings and restaurants declined 20.6 percent and institutional work fell 17.1 percent, led by lower intentions for schools. Industrial work rose 1.8 percent in August, following a drop of 40.6 percent in July.

Residential permits fell 6 percent to C$3.62 billion in August, Statistics Canada said. Multiple-unit work fell 8.9 percent to C$1.43 billion and single-family permits decreased 4.1 percent to C$2.19 billion.

The value of permits in Ontario, the most populous province, dropped 21.9 percent to C$1.93 billion, Statistics Canada said.

The nationwide value of building permits was 3.9 percent higher in August than the same month a year earlier, the report said.

--With assistance by Ilan Kolet in Ottawa. Editor: Paul Badertscher

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To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net.


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