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Andrew Hanlan, analyst at Westpac, notes that Australian construction activity downturn has extended into second half of 2019.

Key Quotes

“Construction work fell by 0.4% in the quarter (v’s an expected -1.0%) to be 7.0% lower over the past year and 10.1% below the peak of mid-2018.”

“The housing sector has led the downturn, with the home building cycle swinging from boom-to-bust.”

“New private home building activity slumped by another 3.4% in the quarter, meeting our expectations. Work is now 11.6% below that in June 2018.”

“Home building work has further to fall, with the slump in approvals deepening in mid-2019. Approvals are down by more than 20% over the past year.”

“The outlook is for some improvement in infrastructure. Commencements have picked-up (eg some iron ore projects have proceeded in response to the recent elevated prices) and the work pipeline has expanded – pointing to an emerging lift in activity during the year ahead.”