Australian construction continues to expand

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The Australian construction industry has continued to grow in February according to the latest Australian Performance of Construction Index (PCI).

Housing -construction

The index, compiled by the Ai Group and Housing Industry Association, gave a reading of 56.0 points for February (readings above 50 indicate growth). This represents a 1.7 point increase over January and the 13th consecutive month of expansion.

Each of the index’s four sub-sectors (house building, apartment building, commercial construction and engineering construction) all showed expanded activity levels, with the house-building sub-sector leading the way (up 9.8 points to 61.8).

"Australia’s construction industry enjoyed a strong February with expansion of activity levels reported by each of its four sub-sectors," Ai Group head of policy Peter Burn says.

"House building led growth while engineering construction, commercial construction and apartment building all made important contributions.

"Employment growth was particularly healthy, pointing to employer confidence in the strength of the pipeline of work on their order books," Burn continues.

HIA representatives say the extended run of expansion is largely influenced by Australia’s current housing shortage.

"The ongoing boom in apartment construction in metro areas, combined with investment in infrastructure projects, is ensuring strong conditions across the sector," HIA principal economist Tim Reardon says.

"Pent-up demand for new housing is continuing to absorb record levels of new dwellings and a new phase of apartment construction is getting underway.

"A considerable proportion of these new apartments have been delivered onto the rental market – helping to bring rental inflation to a 24-year low. This is good news for those who rent rather than own their homes," Reardon adds.

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