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The value of building permits issued in Canada rose 9.9 percent in February from January as a frenzy of non-residential construction activity offset a decline in housing, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a 1.0 percent rise in the value of permits in February following a 6.6 percent decline in January, according to the agency's revised figures.
In the residential sector permits tumbled 34.4 percent for multi-family dwellings, falling below $1 billion for the first time in a year. Single-family housing plans slid 8.6 percent in the month.
Statscan said non-residential intentions soared 72.9 percent due largely to plans for transportation-related buildings in Alberta and factories in Ontario, which pushed industrial construction permits to a record high. Permits for institutional buildings doubled after four consecutive declines and the commercial building component rose 22.6 percent.
Compared with a year earlier, total building permits rose 6.5 percent, with residential permits down 15.6 percent and non-residential permits up 47.3 percent.