Construction downturn eases finds report
The ongoing downturn in construction in Australia has eased in November, with activity declining at a slower rate in the month - up 1.2 points to 37.0 (readings below 50 indicate a contraction in the industry with the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decline).
The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association's Australian Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI), found that there were sharp declines in new orders (34.3) and deliveries (37.8) in November, construction activity (35.8) and employment (41.1) contracted at a slower rate in the month. Activity across the sub-sectors remained poor although the apartments sector lifted 14.9 points to 42.5 - its highest reading in close to two years.
Australian Industry Group Director Public Policy, Peter Burn, said: "The ongoing slump in commercial and housing construction weighed on the sector's overall performance in November. Lower interest rates may have helped stem the pace of decline but have not lifted the sector out of the doldrums to date.
"The further weakening in new orders, including in the engineering construction sub-sector, points to a continuation of sluggish activity over coming months, even though house builders reported an increase in customer enquiries and the decline in new orders for houses and apartments eased in November," Dr Burne said.
Australian PCI® Key Findings for November:
- The seasonally adjusted Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index(Australian PCI®) was 37.0 in November - up just 1.2 points on the previous month (readings below 50 indicate a contraction in the industry with the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decline).
- The Australian PCI® has now been contracting for thirty consecutive months.
- New orders (34.3) and deliveries (37.8) were down in November.
- House building was down 0.2 to 40.8, commercial construction up 1.2 to 37.5, engineering construction rose 1.2 points to 36.3 and apartment building was 14.9 points higher at 42.5.
- Construction input prices were 65.1 in November.
- Selling prices continued to fall - 31.8.