According to a Statistics Canada survey released Monday, the plunge was led by a big drop in Ontario activity, with permits dropping 21.1 per cent across the country during the month to $5.3 billion, following a 16.8-per-cent increase in March and a 9.8-per-cent rise in February.
“The non-residential and residential sectors both declined in April, with Ontario posting the largest decrease,” it said.
On average, economists had expected permits to fall by around six to 7.5 per cent in April.
The value of non-residential permits fell 33.2 per cent to $1.9 billion, due mainly to a decline institutional building activity in Ontario. Six other provinces also saw declines in the sector.
In B.C., the value of all permits reached $664 million in April, a 10.9-per-cent drop from March 2011 and a 14.7-per-cent increase from April 2010.
Not good for the economy