The jump followed a 4.4 per cent decline in April.
The agency says the increase was largely due to higher construction intentions for institutional buildings in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan and for multi-family dwellings in British Columbia.
The value of residential building permits increased 8.5 per cent to $4.1 billion, following four consecutive monthly declines.
Non-residential construction intentions rose six per cent to $2.9 billion after a seven per cent decline the previous month.
The value of building permits increased in seven provinces in May, led by British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
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