Australia's construction sector is holding up as apartments drive growth

Rounding out the three Ai Group surveys of Australian business today is the release of the performance of construction index (PCI) which showed that Australia’s construction industry expanded for a third month in a row.

The increase was 0.2 points to 52.1 but the Ai Group said the continued expansion of the sector is being “driven by the fastest pace of growth in apartment building activity recorded in the 10-year history” of the PCI.

The sub-index break up showed apartments rose 9.2 points to 72.4 while the house sub-index fell 9.8 points to 47. That puts apartments way above their 12-month average of 54.8 and housing below its average of 50. Elsewhere, commercial property rose 0.9 to 49 and engineering jumped 7.5 to 44.

Peter Burn, Ai Group head of policy, said in a note accompanying the release that:

“The higher level of activity in the apartment sub-sector was sufficient to extend the overall construction sector expansion into a third month. Expectations of further growth in the months ahead will be encouraged by the higher levels of new orders recorded for the apartment, engineering and commercial construction sub-sectors. This is a further sign of the long-awaited broadening of the base of economic growth.”

That’s what the RBA is looking for.

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