According to The Australian Financial Review, the fastest growth in 10 years in engineering work kept the construction industry expanding in October even as apartment building contracted further and growth in detached house building eased.
A four-point jump in engineering activity, on the back of rising non-mining infrastructure work, pushed the index reading for that sector to 60.9, a 10-year high, and kept the headline Performance of Construction Index in growth at 53.2, while the sub-index for detached house building slowed 3.5 points to 53.1 and apartment-building contracted for a third month.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion and the higher above 50 the faster the pace of growth, while a reading below 50 shows contraction and the further the number below 50, the quicker the pace of decline.
The report that showed the activity sub-index for apartment-building increasing 5.4 points to 46.8, showing the rate of contraction slowed from September, continues the picture of an "orderly retreat" in housing construction and a pivot in construction as large rail and road contracts pick up a greater share of overall work.
There are more than 20 major projects worth at least $2 billion each either being built or in the infrastructure pipeline, including Brisbane's Cross River Rail, the Western Sydney Airport, the Inland Rail, NSW's intercity train fleet and Victoria's high-capacity metro trains.
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