Economy

New home sales increase in June, Manufacturing industry contracts in July: Midday Roundup

Patrick Stafford /

New home sales increased during the month of June, according to the latest figures from the Housing Industry Association.

The figures show the total number of new home sales rose by 3.4% during the month, seasonally adjusted. Detached home sales increased by 7.3%, while multi-unit sales fell by 17.5%.

In a statement, HIA economist Harley Dale said the report shows how the industry is in a state of change.

“Last financial year was a tale of two halves for new home sales,” Dale said, according to Business Spectator.

“The first stanza was dominated by weakening detached house sales up against stronger multi-unit sales, the latter marked by an improving detached house segment occurring as the multi-unit market lost momentum.

“The overall result was that new home sales fell by 4.3% in 2012/13 when compared to the 2011/12 financial year.”

Manufacturing industry contracts during July

The manufacturing industry remained under pressure in July, according to the latest results from the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index.

The survey shows the industry recorded a rating of 42 points, well below the 50-point level separating expansion from contraction. The rate also fell by 7.6 points from June.

In a statement, AIG chief executive Innes Willox said the industry had failed to sustain its momentum.

“Manufacturers are telling us that, while the fall in the Australian dollar and the May interest rate cut have been extremely welcome, they have not yet been enough to turn around a very challenging business environment,” he said.

“In fact, the drop in the currency has fuelled higher prices for imported inputs without any real corresponding improvement in stronger exports.”

Shares steady on open

Aussie shares have opened slightly up this morning, as the market remained steady ahead of Chinese economic data.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 7.1 points to 5059.1 just before midday.

The energy sector was trading well, up 194.1 points to 13,446, as was the health care industry which had risen 131 points to 13,759.4.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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