By Kim Mackrael

OTTAWA--Canadian building permits declined slightly in November, as lower construction intentions in the western province of Alberta outweighed gains in other regions.

The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities in November fell 0.1% to 7.76 billion Canadian dollars ($5.87 billion), Statistics Canada said Tuesday. Expectations were for a 5.0% decline, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.

The previous month's data were revised upward, with permits issued increasing 10.5% to C$7.77 billion, compared with an earlier estimate of an 8.7% 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.

On a year-over-year basis, permits issued increased 18.3%. Building-permit data tend to be volatile on a month-over-month basis.

In November, residential permits fell 1.6% to C$5.14 billion, led by a 2.0% decline in single-family dwellings. The data agency said the overall drop in residential permits was largely the result of a decline in construction intentions in Alberta, where a planned change to the provincial building code caused a spike in permits during the previous month.

Non-residential permits climbed 3.0% in November.

The construction sector accounts for roughly 7% of total employment in Canada, while housing-related spending accounts for roughly one-sixth of total economic output.

Write to Kim Mackrael at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 10, 2017 08:45 ET (13:45 GMT)

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