(Source: Bloomberg)

Canadian building permits surged in May, far exceeding expectations, because of new condominium and school projects. Residential construction plans gained for the third straight month.

The total value of permits issued by municipalities jumped 15 percent to C$5.02 billion ($4.34 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a gain of 0.8 percent, the median of 13 estimates. The agency revised April’s fall to 4.5 percent from the 5.4 percent originally reported.

The value of permits rose to the highest since October, a sign that the recession that began last year may be waning after the central bank cut its benchmark lending rate to a record 0.25 percent to spur growth.

“Clearly, builders were not scared off by the weak macro economic backdrop,” said Charmaine Buskas, an economist with TD Securities in Toronto, in a note to clients. She added that government spending appears to be encouraging construction.

Read Alexandre Deslongchamps’s full article “Canada Building Permits Surge in May on Condominiums” in Bloomberg (July 7, 2009).

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