12/05/2013 09:30 EST | Updated 02/04/2014 05:59 EST

Building permits increase by 7%

Statistics Canada says Canadian municipalities issued building permits worth $7.2 billion in October, up 7 per cent from the previous month and continuing an upward trend.

The increase came on the heels of a 4.1 per cent increase the previous month. All in all, building permits have increased in eight of the ten months this year, and the data agency says the trendline is moving higher.

Building permits are considered a leading indicator of the economy because they telegraph construction work to come. And people and businesses don't tend to invest in improving and upgrading property unless they are confident in their prospects.

Statscan says the uptick in building permits was because of higher building intentions in the residential and non-residential sectors, especially in Ontario.

In the residential sector, six provinces issued more permits for work, bringing the total to its highest level since May 2013. Alberta was a notable exception, where construction intentions declined.

Nineteen of Canada's 34 largest cities saw higher construction intentions

Canadian municipalities approved the construction of 18,823 new dwellings, up 6.9 per cent from September. This increase was attributable to multi-family dwellings such as condos, which rose 12.2 per cent to 12,465 units.