Australia - Construction PMI for April 50.8 (prior 45.2)
AiG Performance of Construction Index
Big jump in the month, back to expansion
Key points made by AiG on this month's result:
- Indicated a slight expansion across the construction industry following four months of contracting conditions
- Employment recovering strongly after two months of decline
- New orders continued to contract in April, although the rate of decline was marginal, and the slowest in five months
- Across the four sub-sectors ... engineering construction returned to growth, following a 21-month period of contraction. In contrast, commercial construction activity weakened, falling back into negative territory after growth outcomes in the previous two months. House building activity contracted for a third consecutive month (albeit at a slower rate) while conditions in the apartment sector were weaker with activity recording a slight overall contraction in the month.
- House builders mainly commented on slower market conditions due to fewer customer enquiries, weaker home buyer sentiment and lower new orders.
- A softening in apartment building conditions was linked to over-supplied apartment markets starting to take hold, and tighter lending criteria for investors.
- The lift in engineering construction activity was generally attributed to an improving flow of infrastructure work, particularly transport projects in NSW.
- Highlighting the on-going toughness of operating conditions, a number of respondents indicated a continuation of intense pricing competition and tight margins.