April PCI results / JCB marks Aus­tralian mile­stone

Run of ex­pan­sion con­tin­ues for Aus­tralian con­struc­tion

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Contents -

The Aus­tralian con­struc­tion in­dus­try has recorded its fif­teenth con­sec­u­tive month of ex­pan­sion, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Aus­tralian Per­for­mance of Con­struc­tion In­dex (PCI).

The monthly in­dus­try sur­vey, com­piled by the Ai Group and Hous­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, gave a read­ing of 55.4 for the month of April (read­ings above 50 in­di­cate growth). The re­sult rep­re­sents a slight slow­down in ex­pan­sion, with non­res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion lead­ing the way.

“Aus­tralia’s con­struc­tion sec­tor con­tin­ued to ex­pand in April,” Ai Group head of pol­icy Peter Burn says.

“How­ever, there are sug­ges­tions of an eas­ing in con­di­tions. April saw a mod­er­a­tion in both ac­tiv­ity and new orders growth, al­though busi­nesses con­tin­ued to in­crease their em­ploy­ment lev­els in a strong sign of an in­dus­try still con­fi­dent in its over­all near-term out­look.

“A grow­ing pipeline of ma­jor project work saw strong­est growth in the com­mer­cial and en­gi­neer­ing con­struc­tion sec­tors,” Burn adds.

“In con­trast, the re­treat in apart­ment build­ing is con­tin­u­ing while the hous­ing sec­tor sta­bilised in the month – con­sis­tent with build­ing ap­provals data which are be­low their peaks and con­tinue to point to a cool­ing in hous­ing con­struc­tion.”

HIA rep­re­sen­ta­tives say that the lift in com­mer­cial con­struc­tion has been a long time com­ing, but cau­tioned that the gains may be off­set by a slow­down in res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion.

“The Aus­tralian PCI re­port con­tin­ues to il­lus­trate the di­ver­gent con­di­tions af­fect­ing the var­i­ous parts of the na­tion’s con­struc­tion in­dus­try,” HIA se­nior econ­o­mist Ge­or­dan Mur­ray says.

“On bal­ance it presents a pos­i­tive out­look for the re­main­der of 2018. The im­proved in­vest­ment out­look for non-min­ing busi­nesses is trans­lat­ing into the long-awaited im­prove­ment in de­mand for com­mer­cial con­struc­tion.

“This is a timely de­vel­op­ment but the over­all eco­nomic im­pact is likely to be some­what negated by a slow­down in apart­ment con­struc­tion,” Mur­ray says.

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