Canadian building permits plummet more than expected in July - the first fall in half a year

Permits for the construction of new buildings in Canada fell by a greater than expected 10.3 per cent in June – the first decrease in six months.

Analysts had expected a slightly less drastic decline of 3.2 per cent following the previous month’s revised 5.8 per cent growth. Despite this, the total value of building permits continued to rise, with contractors taking out permits worth $6.6bn (£4.1bn) over the month. The fall came primarily from the non-residential sector in Quebec and the residential sector in Ontario.

Some analysts say there has been an artificial housing boom in Canada, stemming from a commitment made in 2009 by current Bank of England governor Mark Carney while he was running the country's central bank when he said rates would be kept at a record 0.25 per cent low until the second quarter of 2010.

At the same time, the Richard Ivey School of Business released its Purchasing Manager’s Index for July, which came in at 48.4 (seasonally adjusted) – well below the expected 57.0 (above 50 implies growth, below contraction).