Construction gains continue

25 April 2008

Australia’s construction industry saw a return to moderate growth in September, following the previous month’s deterioration in activity, according to the latest report by The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group).

According to the report, Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index, activity increased by 7.5 points to 53.1 (above the 50.0 level separating expansion from contraction). Ai Group associate director, economics and research, Tony Pensabene, said new home starts and increased work from the mining sector were among the major factors underpinning the lift in activity.

According to Mr Pensabene, activity and new orders expanded, leading to higher growth in deliveries and an upturn in employment. The improvement in September was underpinned by stronger growth in commercial construction and a pick-up in house building activity. Apartment building activity, however, continued to contract at a high rate.

New orders, reflecting likely forward activity, also strengthened in the commercial and engineering construction sectors, and steadied in house building sector.

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