UPDATE 2-Canada building permits post surprise 15 pct jump in Oct

Thu Dec 6, 2012 9:26am EST
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OTTAWA Dec 6 (Reuters) - The value of building permits issued in Canada jumped 15 percent to a record C$7.49 billion ($7.57 billion) in October from September on higher construction intentions for non-residential buildings, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The surprise increase was far greater than the 2.6 percent rise forecast by market analysts. Statscan revised September's month-on-month decline to 12.7 percent from an initial 13.2 percent drop.

The previous all-time high was the C$7.46 billion set in August 2012.

"A huge jump in industrial permits and medical/educational facilities, the former a very volatile category, was responsible for the headline gain," Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, wrote in a research note.

"While it's nice to see some new plant construction, the data do not ease our concerns that Canada will lose the support of home building as a driver of growth come 2013."

Construction intentions in the non-residential sector soared by 50.3 percent after a 29.4 percent drop in September on strength in Ontario and Quebec, the two most populous provinces.

The value of industrial permits more than tripled to C$1.1 billion - rising above the C$1 billion mark for the first time - on higher construction intentions for manufacturing plants, transportation-related buildings and utilities buildings.

The value of residential permits fell by 4.1 percent, the third decrease in four months, on lower construction intentions for single-family dwellings.