March saw another big month in construction, according to Statistics Canada, as the value of building permits issued rose 4.7 per cent to $6.8-billion.

That followed a jump of 7.6 per cent in February, which was revised up from the previously reported 7.5 per cent gain. However, residential building permits were down 1.3 per cent to $3.9 billion. That included a 1.7 per cent decline for single-family homes, and 0.7 per cent drop for multiple-housing structures.

Non-residential permits were up 13.9 per cent to a value of $2.9 billion. That was driven by an 88.4 per cent surge in institutional permits, which was largely a result of intentions to build government and medical facilities in Ontario.

There was a 15.3 per cent rise in commercial permits, and a 42.8 per cent drop for industrial.

“Although housing-starts data have been buoyant lately, the recent softening trend in residential permits suggests that the pace of home building may slow in the months ahead,” said CIBC World Markets economist Emanuella Enenajor in a research report.

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