Building work dips in March quarter

JAMES WEIR
BUSINESS EDITOR
Last updated 11:08 06/06/2012

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Total building work hit a pothole in the March quarter, dipping 0.4 per cent, as home building remained near an 18-year low.

Residential building work fell 2.4 per cent in the March quarter, after two quarters of increases. But non-residential commercial building was up 1.7 per cent, following a similar increase in the previous quarter.

After accounting for price changes and typical seasonal moves, Statistics New Zealand figures showed a slight fall in building activity the March quarter after a 2.8 per cent rise in the December quarter.

The figures relate to building work carried out, rather than consents which indicate the level of planned work.

"The overall decrease in the March 2012 quarter was due to a fall in residential work, which more than offset a rise in non-residential work," industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said.

"Building activity in Canterbury showed signs of picking up after the earthquakes, particularly for non-residential building work. However, overall building activity decreased in the rest of New Zealand."

The trend for overall building activity continues to rise from the 10-year low point of the September 2011 quarter.

The trend for home house building has risen only slightly from an 18-year low.

The trend for commercial, non-residential building has improved moderately after falling for most of last year.

Contact James Weir
Business editor
Email: james.weir@dompost.co.nz

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