No joy about the economic outlook in the building activity figures out this morning from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. While the trend estimate of the value of total building work done rose 0.1% in the December 2008 quarter, the seasonally adjusted quarterly figure fell 1.6%, to $17,988.6m, following a rise of 0.7% in the September 2008 quarter.
The really bad news came in the figures for new building work commenced during the quarter. In seasonally adjusted terms, the estimate of the total value of building work commenced in the December quarter fell 19.9% following a fall of 7.2% in September. Commencements of new residential buildings fell 15.5%, to $7,526.4m. New house commencements fell 4.8%, to $5,496.5m, while new other residential building fell 35.3%, to $2,029.9m. Alterations and additions fell 4.7%, to $1,432.8m. Non-residential work commenced fell 27.6%, to $5,813.5m.