Canada building permits worse than forecast

Mon Apr 6, 2009 10:08am EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - A large drop in commercial and institutional building projects helped cut the value of Canadian building permits in February by a far-greater-than-expected 15.9 percent, according to Statistics Canada data released on Monday.

It was the worst fall since the 16.0 percent registered in October and compared with the 3.5 percent decline forecast by analysts surveyed by Reuters. All the figures are seasonally adjusted.

However, the residential sector stabilized, dropping 0.3 percent after January's revised 19.8 percent fall. The nonresidential sector, which is more choppy because of the large size of the projects, fell 30.5 percent after January's 12.1 percent rise.

The institutional side dropped 56.4 percent and the commercial component 20.4 percent but the industrial sector added 14.3 percent.

The absolute value of building permits, at $3.7 billion, was the lowest since the $3.6 billion registered in January 2002.

($1=$1.23 Canadian)

(Reporting by Randall Palmer, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)