Canadian building, purchasing data fuels optimism

Wed May 6, 2009 1:43pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Jeffrey Hodgson

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian building permit and purchasing managers data came in much stronger than expectations on Wednesday, boosting the currency and fueling hopes the country's economic slide could be slowing.

Economists and political leaders called the data encouraging, but also warned investors shouldn't presume a much-hoped-for economic rebound is necessarily under way.

"This is a good sign but we have to keep working very, very hard to make sure that any signs of recovery take ... we're not out of the woods yet," Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement told reporters.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also noted "there are some good signs" in the economy.

The cabinet ministers spoke after a report showed the value of building permits surged by 23.5 percent in March from February after five months of declines.

It was the largest month-on-month increase since the 28.7 percent gain recorded in March 2007.

The results blew past average expectations for a 2.5 percent increase in March from February, according to a Reuters survey.

Another sign the economy is improving was the release of the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index, which rose to 53.7 in April from 43.2 in March. [ID:nTAR001663]   Continued...