The Australian construction industry has once again returned to growth in June. The Australian Industry Group (AIG) and the Housing Industry Association's (HIA) Performance of Construction Index (PCI) has increased by 6.5 points to 53.2. The AIG and HIA PCI is a seasonally adjusted national composite index based on indexes for activity, orders, new business, deliveries and employment. A read above 50 points indicates that construction activity is generally expanding and below 50, indicating a decline.
New orders see construction index hit the highest rate of expansion in ten months
According to AIG head of policy Peter Burn, the construction sector saw growth across all the sub-sectors and achieved solid gains in activity, employment and new orders. Mr Burn went on to say that the residential sub-sectors of house and apartment building were the standout performers both in current activity and in new orders, suggesting this will continue into the coming months. HIA chief economist Harley Dale said that new residential construction remains the powerhouse of the economy and this is backed up by the figures below.
Australian PCI key findings for June:
- new orders sub-index up 9.2 points to 52.1
- construction activity sub-index up 6.2 points to 53.9
- employment up 4.9 points to 53.9
- house building up 4.5 points to 62.1
- apartment building up 13.7 points to 55.2
- engineering construction up 7.3 points to 50.7
- commercial construction up 8.6 points to 53.3
- wages sub-index up 5.7 points to 63.1
Employment growth also increases in June
Employment rose in June according to the latest Labour Force report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Figures released showed seasonally adjusted estimates of 7,900 new jobs created in June, with full-time employment increasing by 38,400. The unemployment rate remained steady, rising to 5.8 percent from 5.7 percent, which still remains lower than previously forecasted.
Leading indicators of labour demand point to a continued rise in employment in the construction industry. Further job opportunities within the residential and commercial building sector are also expected, due to housing shortages and Australia's expanding population.
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