by country: the latest data

* indicates monthly or quarterly data series
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* indicates monthly or quarterly data series
Building permits are authorizations granted by a government or another regulatory body before the construction of a new building can legally occur.

Countries Latest value Reference

The number of building permits is considered a leading macroeconomic indicator as it typically grows a few months ahead of an economic expansion and declines a few months before an economic slowdown. For example, it is one of the leading indicators used by The Conference Board in the U.S., an organization that has tracked the U.S. and the global business cycles for over 100 years. As noted by Eurostat, building permits may overstate actual construction as some of the permits may remain unused. In practice, however, the building permits and actual construction are highly correlated as indicated by Indiana University researchers. They find that construction usually starts right after the granting of a permit so that the lag between issuing the permit and the work is short. When looking at tendencies please note that the building permits indicator is highly volatile. One should look at a few months or quarters to see any trends.

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