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.
The value of construction fell by 7.2% in the first quarter from a year earlier.
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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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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 23, 2017 21:50 ET (01:50 GMT)