Australia's Construction Sector Contracts Further

Australia's construction sector contracted further in November, data from the Australian Industry Group and Housing Industry Association showed Friday.

The Performance of Construction Index fell 3.9 points to 40.0 in November. A score below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

This was the 15th consecutive month of contraction with aggregate industry activity remaining firmly entrenched in negative territory and overall new orders falling more sharply, data showed.

The on-going weakness in business conditions was also driven by a steeper fall in employment and a continued reduction in deliveries from suppliers.

There were encouraging signs of a stabilization in house building activity but apartment building continued to exhibit weakness. Commercial construction also remained subdued while engineering construction declined again in November.

Although new home buyer demand showed some improvement in response to interest rate cuts and an easing in bank lending restrictions, uncertainty surrounding economic outlook acted as a brake on housing activity, data revealed.

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