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Manitoba building permits plunge

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Building permit activity in Manitoba came back down to earth in February after soaring by nearly 50 per cent in the opening month of the year.

Statistics Canada said Tuesday there was a 33.9 per cent decline in the value of permits issued in February — $128.1 million — versus $193.8 million in January. The year-over-year drop was 37.2 per cent.

The slowdown was evident on both sides of the construction industry. The value of permits issued for non-residential projects plunged by 50.3 per cent to $37.8 million from $76 million a month earlier, while the value of residential permits dropped by 23.3 per cent to $90.3 million from $117.7 million.

February’s decline followed a 49.2 per cent increase in January. It left the permit total for the first two months of the year running 13.7 per cent behind last year’s pace — $321.9 million versus $372.7 million.

Nationally, Statistics Canada said municipalities issued $6.1 billion worth of building permits in February, down 11.6 per cent from January. That followed an 8.1 per cent gain the previous month and was mainly driven by lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in all provinces.

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