OTTAWA (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.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Nick Zieminski