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    Construction sector achieves hat-trick of growth

    Published on 8 September 2014, Monday, 12:02 AM

    It may be time to break out the concrete grinder and hammer breaker - Australia's construction industry is on a roll. 

    The most recent Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association (HIA) Australian Performance of Construction Index - or Australian PCI - rose for the third month in a row during August. In this case, the rise of 2.4 points took the index to 55 - well above the value of 50 which delineates contraction from expansion. 

    Much of this rise was due to an expansion in residential and commercial construction, with apartment building the best performing segment of the sector. Apartment building grew 13 points to 64.9. 

    House building was close behind, rising 7.7 points to 60.9, while commercial construction expanded for a second consecutive month, albeit at a more sluggish pace - it was down 5.8 points to 55.4. 

    "The combination of low interest rates and strong gains in asset values is underwriting continued strength of apartment and house building," Australian Industry Group Director of Public Policy Peter Burn commented in a September 5 release. 

    The Australian construction sector has largely seen a shift away from engineering construction to residential building in recent times, something the latest PCI demonstrated. Respondents cited the setting of the sun on the nation's mining boom and the drying up of government-funded infrastructure projects when dragging engineering construction further down to 43.7 during August. 

    "The construction industry is continuing to rebalance away from the large projects that have lifted mining and minerals export capacity and towards the residential and commercial construction sub-sectors," Mr Burn said. 

    Despite this, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the Australian economy continues to grow, lifting by 0.5 per cent during the June quarter, bringing it 3.1 per cent higher than the same time last year. 

    These sunny figures, coupled with the construction sector's strong performance, suggests a helpful economic environment for tradespeople across the country.

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    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.