After the bad news about the recent slump in consumer confidence – which hopefully is just a short-term post-budget reaction – it’s good to see a recovery in residential building, which the Treasury and RBA are hoping will help drive the economy as mining investment declines. The pick up in building approvals since last year (see Good news for Qld building industry as new apartment approvals surge) has translated into continued growth in building work done, particularly of new apartments and townhouses, in the March quarter (see chart below). This confirms anecdotal reports I’ve heard from people in the residential building industry that business is improving markedly. This is great news for the outlook for the Queensland economy, given the building industry is such a large employer and a bit of a bellwether for the state of the economy.
For additional coverage, see MacroBusiness’s article Housing drives construction rebound. MacroBusiness notes that total construction activity, which also includes heavy engineering and non-residential construction activity, fell in Queensland in the March quarter and that this “may be related to the three large Gladstone LNG projects, which are nearing the final stages of construction.”