3-8-18 9:11 AM EST | Email Article

By Kim Mackrael


OTTAWA--Canadian building permits rose unexpectedly in January, led by a sharp rebound in construction plans in the Toronto area.

The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities in January rose 5.6% to 8.41 billion Canadian dollars ($6.5 billion), Statistics Canada said Thursday. Expectations were for a 1.5% decline, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.

The previous month's data were revised downward, with permits issued increasing 2.5% to C$7.97 billion, versus the earlier estimate of a 4.8% increase.

Building permits are meant to provide an early indication of construction activity in Canada and are based on a survey of 2,400 municipalities, representing 95% of the country's population. A permit gives a contractor the right to build but doesn't necessarily mean construction has started.

On a year-over-year basis, permits issued increased 10.8% in January. Building-permit data tend to be volatile on a month-over-month basis.


Write to Kim Mackrael at kim.mackrael@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 08, 2018 09:11 ET (14:11 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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