And now for the good news: mining

The ABS released the December 2011 quarter statistics for Construction Work Done earlier this morning, falling 4.6% seasonally adjusted from the September quarter. This was 4% below consensus but still up over 9% year on year:

BUILDING WORK DONE
The trend estimate for total building work done fell 1.5% in the December quarter.
The trend estimate for non-residential building work done fell 0.6% in the December quarter.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of total building work done fell 4.0%, to $18,843.8m, in the December quarter.

ENGINEERING WORK DONE
The trend estimate for engineering work done rose 5.2% in the December quarter.
The seasonally adjusted estimate for engineering work done fell 5.0%, to $26,275.2m, in the December quarter.

The divergence between engineering based and residential building construction continues as the mining boom capital expenditure train rolls on. A 6% drop over the year (2% for the quarter) in residential construction shows how flat this sector has been, with non-residential now reverting to mean after the NBER stimulus in 2009-2010, clearly evident on the chart below:

Continued anaemic growth in housing credit, particularly investment, is likely contributing to this trend.

Meanwhile engineering work is at unprecedented levels. The adjustment rolls on…

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