Consistent population growth is set to support building activity going forward, according to an industry economist.
HIA economist Angela Lillicrap said stable population growth is a welcome development for the residential building industry “as it will support the industry as it recalibrates to a new equilibrium level”.
Ms Lillicrap’s comment comes after new ABS data which showed Australia’s annualised population growth rate remained at 1.6 per cent during the March 2019 quarter.
“Residential building plays an important role in the economy and activity has been subdued for the past two years,” added Ms Lillicrap.
“Population growth is important for Australia to sustain ongoing economic performance, productivity and workforce capacity. Given Australia’s aging population, attracting skilled workers from overseas has become increasingly important.
“Population growth in Australia has remained strong and stable for the past three years.”
Ms Lillicrap noted that HIA “has consistently held the view that it is prudent for governments to maintain a stable, well-rounded migration intake as part of an overall population policy”.
“Dramatic changes in migration intake can create shocks in demand for businesses, including those in the residential building industry,” she said.
“Changes to migration policies that slow population growth risk adversely impacting Australia’s potential for economic growth.”