March fall

25 March 2008

Construction activity in Australia fell slightly in March, underpinned by weaker commercial construction activity, with the Australian Industry Group - Housing Industry Association (HIA) Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI) falling -0.6 points to 51.1.

Commenting on the results, Ai Group associate director for economic and research, Tony Pensabene, said that while the Australian PCI was still above the 50 points level separating expansion from contraction, “Activity has been held back by a lack of impetus from new business over previous months. In addition, there was wide divergence in conditions across the sectors.

“While engineering and infrastructure activity is continuing to expand, house and apartment building remain weak, and commercial building has lost ground in the past month. This month's lift in new orders, however, points to an improvement in activity in coming months, although for this to be realised interest rates would need to be kept on hold.”

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