The ABS has released data on the value of construction work done for the March quarter of 2019, which registered another 1.9% seasonally-adjusted decline in total construction activity over the quarter and a 6.0% decrease over the year:
The result badly missed analysts’ expectations of no change (0.0% growth) in construction activity over the quarter.
The 1.9% quarterly decline in construction activity was broad-based, with both building construction (-0.4%) and engineering construction (-3.9%) falling in real terms:
Residential construction – which was the saviour as the mining investment boom unwound – also fell by 2.5% over the quarter but rose by 3.2% over the year:
Over the March quarter, the fall in construction activity was driven by WA (-$700m) and VIC (-$300m):
The most important information to come from this release is that construction activity should detract from March quarter’s GDP growth, which is due for release early next month.