Jonathan Chancellor | 7 November 2012

Construction activity declines in October making 29 consecutive months

The nation’s construction activity declined further in October albeit it at a slower rate, according to the Australian performance of construction index from the Australian Industry Group and the Housing Industry Association.

October was the 29th month of declining activity, marking almost two and a half years of hardship for the construction industry.

The Housing Industry Association chief economist, Harley Dale suggested the period extending to 29 consecutive months represented a "blight" on Australia’s economic performance and had made it difficult to find any glimmer of hope for the construction industry.

But the director of public policy at the Australian Industry Group, Dr Peter Burn, said while the construction industry, and particularly the commercial and residential sub-sectors, were still contracting, the pace of decline had turned for the better in October.

“This was most noticeable in the long-suffering housing building sub-sector where a combination of lower interest ratest and a shift in the focus of new home buyer support have helped slow the pace of construction.” he said.

In particular, new orders and supplier deliveries declined less than in previous months.

"The residential and commercial sub-sectors still have a lot of recovering to do with construction activity, new orders and employment all remaining in the red," Dr Burn said.

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