Be informed

News & Media

Slow growth in December construction

9 Jan 14

There was further good news for the construction industry in December 2013, as the latest data shows a rise in activity throughout the month.

The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index experienced a slight decline in growth compared to previous months, but it nevertheless remained in positive territory.

A reading of 50.8 was registered in December - those over 50 are considered to signal expansion in activity. New orders achieved a reading of 54.3, which compared to 50.7 for activity and 48.3 for deliveries from suppliers.

House building, on the other hand, witnessed the second highest rate of expansion since the survey started back in September 2005. It increased 1.5 points to reach 63.5 in December.

Group director of public policy at the Australian Industry Group Peter Burn explained how apartment and house building activity had proved especially strong last month.

He also emphasised how the low interest rate environment is helping to stimulate the sector, meaning builders across the country can look forward to the rest of 2014 with a renewed sense of confidence.

Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale agreed, saying the industry "paused for breath" in December following months of substantial gains.

"The key is that the index remained in expansionary territory," he noted.

"Four months of such expansion, following as it does years of contraction, is an important tick in the box for Australia's growth prospects in 2014."

Strong growth in the construction sector is likely to play an important role for anyone offering real estate advice, especially as housing stock increases across the country.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released in November 2013 predicted the country's population would double by 2017, creating the need for the construction of more properties.