Australian construction work fell in Q1

The ABS has released data on the value of construction work done for the March quarter of 2020, which registered another 1.0% seasonally-adjusted decline in total construction activity over the quarter – the seventh consecutive quarterly decline – and a 6.5% decrease over the year:

However, the result beat analysts’ expectations of a 1.5% decline in construction activity over the quarter.

The 1.0% quarterly decline in construction activity was driven by residential construction (-1.6%), whereas non residential construction was flat and engineering construction fell by 1.1%:

Again, residential construction fell by 1.6% over the quarter and by 12.5% over the year:

Turning to the jurisdictional breakdown, NSW drove the decline in construction, tanking by 8%:

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 next week.

Leith van Onselen

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