April 10, 2012
Australian construction remained weak in March, although the pace of decline has slowed, an industry study shows.
The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association performance of construction index had a reading of 36.2 in March, up 0.6 points from the month before.
The report said that Australian construction had been in contraction for almost two years.
Readings below 50 indicate contraction.
Residential and commercial construction showed significant weakness, with house building registering its lowest level in six months.
House building showed a reading of 30.3, while apartments were 30.5 and commercial construction was 35.5.
Ai Group director of public policy Peter Burn said weakness in these sub-sectors was impacting on other areas.
"Large parts of the national construction industry remain stuck in the doldrums," he said.
"Very weak conditions continue in the house and apartment building and commercial construction sectors, and this is flowing on to a cross-section of service and manufacturing businesses.
"Engineering construction also softened during March, but from a more robust base than the rest of the industry."
Engineering construction had a reading of 41.2 in March.
The new orders sub-index was down 1.0 points to show areading of 33.2 for March.