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Building permit activity drops in Manitoba

Manitoba builders hit the snooze button in December, posting one of the biggest percentage declines in building permit activity in the country, new Statistics Canada figures show.

After setting a new November record the month before, with $324.1 million worth of permits issued, builders took out only $141.5 million worth of permits in December, the agency said today.

The 56.3 per cent decline was the second biggest percentage drop in the country after Prince Edward Island’s 64.7 per cent. December’s total was also down 3.2 per cent from a year earlier, when $146.2 million worth of permits were issued.

The figures show the decline was evident on both sides of the construction market, with the value of non-residential permits down by a whopping 78.9 per cent to only $31.1 million, and the value of residential permits off by 37.5 per cent to $110.4 million.

Statistics Canada said Manitoba was one of nine provinces to see a drop-off in permit activity during the final month of 2012. That drove down the value of permits issued across the country by 11.2 per cent to $57 billion.

December’s decline followed a 14.5 per cent decline in Canada in November.

As was the case with Manitoba, both sides of the market contributed to the national decline in December. Construction intentions were down 13.1 per cent on the residential side, and 8.5 per cent on the non-residential side, Statistics Canada said.


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