Residential decline

19 March 2008

Australia's construction sector suffered further deterioration in May, underpinned by renewed weakness in the house building sector.

The latest Australian Industry Group Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI) fell -2.8 points in May, to 45.1, below the key 50.0 points level separating expansion from contraction.

Commenting on the results, Tony Pensabene, Australian Industry (Ai) Group associate director for economics and research said, “The Australian PCI confirms the subdued overall state of the national construction market, with a recovery in house building yet to emerge and the apartment sector remaining stagnant.”

“The situation is more positive elsewhere in the industry. Despite slight activity falls in engineering and commercial construction, both remain the strongest performing sectors and have, up to this point, enjoyed a long period of almost consistently strong growth,” Mr Pensabene said.

Housing Industry Association executive director Simon Tennent, said the latest results highlight that conditions in the new home building sector remain soft.

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