It appears Master Builders Queensland was right to report last month that Queensland builders are optimistic (see my post on the report), with today’s new residential building approvals from the ABS showing a strong upward trend nationally and in Queensland (see chart below).
But, as noted by Pete Faulkner, approvals in some areas in North and Far North Queensland remain weak (Strong Building Approvals not reflected locally). Pete has a nice summary of the macroeconomic implications of these figures:
The RBA have been looking at house building to take up the slack left by the slowdown in mining investment and, at least on the back of these numbers, there is a sign of that now happening. This data, combined with strong trade balance numbers also released today which will add some 0.6 ppts to GDP (released tomorrow), will certainly see the RBA leaving the Cash Rate unchanged later today.
I still remain somewhat concerned about the short-term outlook given recent unemployment data. Nonetheless, I’m pretty encouraged by today’s figures.
Other coverage of today’s figures is at MacroBusiness: