Australian Total Construction Falls in 1Q

By James Glynn Features Dow Jones Newswires

The total value of construction in Australia, including residential building and engineering work, during the first quarter of this year fell by 0.7% from the fourth quarter of 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

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The value of construction fell by 7.2% in the first quarter from a year earlier.

Construction activity is at a crosss roads with a lengthy housing construction boom starting at a peak, and expected to decline in the coming year.

Meanwhile, a prolonged downturn in mining investment is expected to bottom out in coming quarters, removing a stiff headwinds to growth in the economy.

State and federal government are also rolling out large infrastructure projects in roads and rail, adding some pep to the economy.

Construction is a building block of GDP data which will be released next week. A slowdown in consumer demand, the impact of a cyclone on coal exports from Queensland, and a slowdown in home building activity, especially apartments, have some economists worried that the economy might have slowed sharply in the quarter.

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-Write to James Glynn at james.glynn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 23, 2017 21:50 ET (01:50 GMT)