OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits issued in July fell less than expected as a decline in construction intentions for non-residential buildings was offset by a surge in plans for multi-family homes, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.
Building permits decreased 0.6 percent to C$7.74 billion ($5.85 billion), far short of economists' expectations for a decline of 5.0 percent. June's figures were also revised up to an increase of 15.5 percent.
Intentions for non-residential construction slumped 13.9 percent on a decrease in plans for institutional buildings, including educational and medical facilities. Permits for industrial buildings also fell.
But residential building permits jumped 8.7 percent as contractors planned to build more multi-family dwellings, which include apartment buildings and condominiums. The gains were led by British Columbia and Ontario, which both have robust condo markets in their major cities.
The Canadian economy saw a mild recession in the first half of the year, but economists and policymakers expect growth will resume in the third quarter.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr Editing by W Simon