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   제목: Australia’s Housing-Sector Slump Shows Up in Another Sickly Set of Data
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Australia’s Housing-Sector Slump Shows Up in Another Sickly Set of Data

By Chris Bourke

January 11, 2019

Australia’s construction activity has slowed to the weakest in five-and-a-half years as tighter lending conditions and falling prices weigh on the nation’s housing market.

The Australian Industry Group Performance of Construction Index fell 1.9 points to 42.6 in December, the lowest since June 2013 as the sector shrank for a fourth straight month. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Key Insights
Apartment building was the weakest performing sector, falling for a ninth straight month and at the sharpest rate since mid-2012. Such projects were favored by investors in the five-year boom that peaked last year, but demand has fallen off amid tighter lending restrictions.
All four sectors of the gauge -- house building, apartments, commercial and engineering -- contracted in December, with declines in house and apartment activity the most marked in six years. That could weigh on fourth-quarter gross domestic product and jobs data, with construction accounting for about 10 percent of both indicators.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is closely watching construction activity, last month noting that the outstanding pipeline remained large and investment robust. Still, the rapid pace of Sydney house-price falls and worsening related indicators will likely prompt some commentary in its next interest-rate decision in February.

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