Building approvals drop 17% in July: Midday roundup

Building approvals have declined in July, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show the number of dwellings approved fell by a seasonally adjusted 17.3% to 11,306 for the month of July. Economists had predicted a rise of 4.6%

This result comes after an upwardly-revised 13,662 units in June.

On a yearly basis, building approvals are now 10.6% lower than the same time in 2011.

Capital expenditure on par with expectations in second quarter

New stats from the ABS reveal private capital expenditure increased during the second quarter.

CAPEX rose by 3.4% in real terms, seasonally adjusted, to $41.961 billion in the June quarter. The median market forecast was for a rise of 3.4%.

The seventh and final estimate of expenditure was for $155.025 billion, 29.9% higher than the seventh estimate for the previous corresponding period.

Shares fall on flat offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has fallen today after weak leads from offshore markets and heavy losses among mining companies due to lower commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 53 points or 1.2%, while the Australian dollar remained at $US1.03.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.5 points to 13,107.5.

Perpetual profit halves on revamp cost

Perpetual suffered a 57% in profit after a major restructure.

Perpetual made a net profit of $26.7 million in the year to June 30, down from $62 million the previous year.

The result included $16.2 million in restructure costs, which has resulted in job losses and asset sales.

“While the environment remains difficult, I have made it clear previously that we do not intend to wait for markets to turn,” chief executive Geoff Lloyd said in a statement.

Perpetual has cut 427 full-time staff since end of June 2011 and now declared a fully franked final dividend of 40 cents per share.

Lend Lease profit rises 1.7%

Lend Lease has delivered a full year net profit increase of 1.7% to $501.4 million.

The company said in a statement although conditions remain weak, the company itself is in a strong financial position. Revenue rose 28% to $11.61 billion.

“The strength of the group’s construction backlog combined with the depth of the group’s significant urban regeneration pipeline and strong base of funds under management gives us strong visibility of earnings over the medium term, provided we continue to execute well,” chief executive Steve McCann said in a statement.


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