Construction decreased over April on the back of poor demand for apartment builds, according to latest statistics.
The Housing Industry Australia - Australian Industry Group Performance of Construction Index saw construction figures for April drop modestly, with apartment building seeing the weakest recorded figures.
House building and commercial construction were also below a reading of ‘50’, indicating a contraction in activity.
The overall drop in April was by 1.3 points to 34.9.
This drop is further evidence of the widespread slowdown in the broader Australian economy, according to Australian Industry Group’s director Peter Burn.
Apartment sector construction reads 22.9.
“The ongoing weakness in the residential and commercial construction sub-sectors was exacerbated by the slowing in engineering construction activity that has now been in train since the start of the year.
“Last week's reduction in interest rates will help counter the existing headwinds while the construction industry will have a close eye on tomorrow's Budget and the impacts it may have on business, household and public sector demand over the year ahead," Dr Burn said.
HIA economist Geordan Murray said that the evidence is of a persistant weakening that will continue in 2012.
Mr Murray said that the findings of this index vindicated the larger interest rate cut, and justifies further action.
“Federal and state government support and policy reform is a vital plank in restoring confidence and activity in the residential construction industry – interest rate relief can’t do all the heavy lifting,” Mr Murray said.
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