Construction work falls 1.9% in March qtr

Alex Druce
(Australian Associated Press)


Construction work done across Australia fell further than expected in the March quarter, dipping by 1.9 per cent on a continued downturn in the home building cycle and a surprising pull-back in public works.

Total building work on homes dropped 2.5 per cent on the previous three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, while work on non-residential buildings grew by 3.6 per cent, Wednesday’s Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.

The biggest quarterly fall – 3.9 per cent – was again in engineering work, while total construction work was down by 6.0 per cent from the same time last year.

The value of total construction work for the March quarter was $50.8 billion, down from $51.1 billion in the three months to December.

The market had tipped total activity to remain flat and Westpac warned there was more pain ahead.

“The housing downturn still has further to go and will weigh on conditions during 2019,” Westpac senior economist Andrew Hanlan said.

Mr Hanlan said he was surprised by the drop in public works and private infrastructure given the respective works in the pipeline.


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