The mining boom, now called the mining investment boom, was all about the construction of capacity to export iron ore and LNG.
But now the boom has passed construction work has been in a downward trend for more than a year.
That downtrend continues with the ABS reporting a fall of 0.2% in the December quarter. However, that print is much better than the 1.2% fall the market had been expecting. It is also a massive improvement on the -2.8% fall in construction work in the September quarter and leaves the annual rate of contraction at just 4.8%.
Looking at the break up, non-residential construction fell 2.9% on the quarter. Unsurprisingly, given current RBA policy, residential building offset this fall (due to the higher base) with a 2.5% rise. Engineering dipped 0.6% but building was 0.4% higher. Leaving total construction down just 0.2%.
This data today is a positive before tomorrow’s CAPEX data.