(Adds details of release, background)
OTTAWA Feb 7 The value of Canadian building
permits in December dropped 6.6 percent from November, the
biggest slide in almost a year, on weakness in both the
residential and non-residential sectors, Statistics Canada said
Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a 4.0 percent fall.
December's decline was the largest since the 9.5 percent retreat
posted in January 2016.
The value of permits in the non-residential sector fell 11.5
percent on lower construction intentions for commercial
buildings, in particular retail and wholesale outlets as well as
Decreases in the non-residential sector were reported in
seven of the 10 provinces. Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, which
together account for well over half of Canada's population,
posted the largest declines.
The residential sector dropped 4.1 percent as municipalities
issued fewer permits for multi-family dwellings, due to lower
construction intentions for rental apartments and row houses.
The decrease was partly offset by a notable gain in
apartment-condominiums in Ontario.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao)