Building sector contributes billions to the economy

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The vital contribution that the building and construction sector makes to a stronger Australian economy has been confirmed by the release of the latest building activity data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), according to Master Builders Australia.

“The data shows the nation’s second largest industry ended last year strongly, with the value of work done growing by 8 per cent in the last quarter of 2017 and contributing more than $28 billion to the national economy,” said Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia.

“That’s $28 billion that is creating employment, providing young people with the skills they need to be job ready and build rewarding careers, and it’s supporting more than 360,000 small building businesses that build prosperity in every community.  

In contrast, the value of work for new residential construction fell by 5.4% in the December quarter, supporting an outlook for a more moderate year ahead for new residential construction.

“However, this fall was more than offset by a surge in the non-residential sector which saw new commercial construction activity grow by 14.8 per cent in the December quarter 2017,” Wawn said. “This very positive result for non-residential construction supports Master Builders’ outlook for a boom in non-residential building activity over the next 12 months.

“2018 is shaping up to be the best year for commercial builders for more than a decade. Total commercial construction activity is expected to contribute $42 billion to the economy in 2017-18, with the sector expected to grow by 14.6%.

“The timing couldn’t be better with the expected moderation expected in the value of residential construction work and another year of consolidation in the engineering sector.

“Better yet, the new commercial construction projects driving the upswing create new jobs and opportunities for workers whose work on major high density residential projects may be finishing over the next 12 months or so.”

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