Canadian building permits fell more than economists forecast in May, with declines across all major types of projects from hospitals to condominiums and industrial sites.
The value of municipal permits fell 14.5 per cent to $6.7-billion, giving back part of the gains recorded over the prior two months, Statistics Canada said Wednesday in Ottawa. Economists forecast a 5 per cent fall according to the median of 11 responses to a Bloomberg survey.
Canada's economy has been hobbled this year by a plunge in crude oil prices, and other reports on international trade and gross domestic product suggest the weakness has extended into the second quarter. The building permit figures showed declines in new building projects from the energy hub of Calgary to the financial capital of Toronto.
Permits for non-residential construction fell 16 per cent to $2.77-billion in May. Residential permits fell 13.5 per cent to $3.93-billion.
Permits in Calgary fell 35.1 per cent to $418.5-million led by multi-family housing, Statistics Canada said. In Toronto, permits dropped 46.7 per cent to $1.35-billion after a percentage gain of about twice that size the prior month, with both moves led by institutional buildings and multi-family housing.