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Catherine Birch, senior economist at ANZ, Australia’s construction activity fell 1.9% q/q in Q1 2019 following an upwardly-revised 2.1% fall in Q4 2018 (from -3.1%).

Key Quotes

“Housing (-2.5% q/q) and engineering construction (-3.9% q/q) continued to decline, while non-residential building strengthened (+3.6% q/q). Public sector construction (-3.7% q/q) fell further than private sector construction (-1.3% q/q), which is surprising given the infrastructure pipeline.”

“Private sector construction was dragged down by engineering construction (-5.0% q/q) and residential construction (-2.4% q/q). Both new building (-2.2% q/q) and renovations (-3.6% q/q) fell. Private non-residential building, on the other hand, was a bright spot, recording its strongest quarterly increase since 2012 (+7.8%).”

“The sharper-than-expected contraction in residential activity during the quarter and the ongoing decline in engineering construction will undermine GDP growth in Q1 2019 and puts downside risk on our pick for the quarter.”