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Construction Activity declines further in Dec 2018


The impacts from declining residential investment are being felt across the economy with the latest Construction numbers revealing further declines, particularly in Queensland.

The ABS's Quarterly Construction Activity for the December 2018 quarter showed that total construction activity down -3.9% on last quarter to $51.0Bn and down -2.4% on the same period last year. The results reveal that construction activity is now at the lowest level since March 2017 and is likely to be heading much lower as new residential projects are less likely to commence.

The Queensland economy has been hit hardest in recent months with residential and non residential activity facing significant declines in activity.

Overall, the residential sector was expected to show a continuation of the recent drop in activity, the surprise this quarter however was the drop in engineering activity, down -6.7% on last quarter and -7.3% on the same period last year. The drop in engineering is less consistent with the expected growth arising from infrastructure spends around the country.

Non Residential activities gained some ground up 2.2% on last quarter but not sufficient enough to keep overall construction above last quarters result.

Residential Activity is down -3.8% for the quarter but remains 2.1% higher than the same quarter last year and on a rolling 4 quarter average is up 0.5%. Queensland has experienced the most significant drop in activity on last quarter -9.9% with NSW down -4.9% and Victoria down just -0.7%.

Non Residential Construction activity was up 2.2% in the quarter with NSW leading the charge, up 9.6% with Victoria up 2.7% however Queensland is down -6.6%.