Construction ends 2014 on sour note

by Adam Smith12 Jan 2015
The construction industry contracted in December despite a  rise in new home building in November.

The Australian Industry Group and HIA Australian Performance of Construction Index dropped one point to 44.4 points for December. Index readings below 50 points indicate a contraction in construction activity.

The figures put the index at odds with data released last week by the ABS showing a rise in new home building for November. But the index indicated that home building contracted in December for the first time since August 2013.

"Recovery in the construction industry was looking very promising through the middle of 2014, particularly in the housing and apartment sectors," Ai Group chief economist Julie Toth said. "In the final months of 2014, however, this much-anticipated recovery seems to have lost its momentum."