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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