Construction industry enters 22nd month of contraction

Activity in the Australian construction industry went backwards again last month, although the rate of decline appears to be slowing.

The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index was at 36.2 in March. Readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity.

House building was at its lowest level in six months, with a reading of 30.3, while apartments were at 30.5 and commercial construction was 35.5.

Ai group director of public policy, Peter Burn, says weakness in those sub-sectors was impacting on other areas.

“Large parts of the national construction industry remain stuck in the doldrums,” Burn says.

“Very weak conditions continue in the house and apartment building and commercial construction sectors, and this is flowing on to a cross-section of service and manufacturing businesses.”

The report stated that Australian construction had been in contraction for 22 months.

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