Contractors took out $6.2 billion in building permits in December, up 2.4 per cent from November and 32.6 per cent than a year earlier. Statistics Canada attributes the increase entirely to a rise in the non-residential sector, while the upward trend in the total value of construction intentions in 2009 was largely due to the residential sector. Municipalities issued permits worth $2.3 billion in non-residential permits, 6.8 per cent more than in November and 13.3 per cent more than in December 2008.
The value of residential permits remained steady at $3.9 billion as declines in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba were offset by a gain in British Columbia. The total value of construction intentions rose in seven provinces in December, led by Alberta and British Columbia. Manitoba posted the largest drop in December, due to declines in both the non-residential and residential sectors.