Value of Canadian building permits gains 2.1% in March

FILE PHOTO: A crane towers over a condominium construction site in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 2, 2017. Picture taken December 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian building permits rose 2.1% in March, driven higher by construction plans in the four Western provinces, after falling a revised 5.1% in February, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.

The provinces east of Manitoba reported declines in building permit values, while the increase in the Western provinces was led by a 12.8% gain in British Columbia, Statscan said.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected the total value of building permits to rise 2.8%.

The value of permits in the residential sector declined 1.5% in March with non-residential permits gaining 7.9%, Statscan said.

The non-residential increase was due to higher institutional and commercial construction intentions, while the value of industrial permits declined.

Reporting by Steve Scherer, Editing by Dale Smith and Bill Trott