8 January 2013 — The Australian construction industry has experienced its fourth straight month of growth in December, with the Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index at 50.8 (readings above 50 indicate an expansion in activity).

December signalled a slower pace of expansion, down 4.4 points from November, but was ahead of the year’s average (43.9).

House building recorded the second highest rate of expansion since the survey’s inception in September 2005 rising 1.5 points to 63.5. Commercial construction (50.8) and apartments (56.0) also remained in the black while engineering (46.1) slipped back into negative territory.

Australian Industry Group director, public policy, Peter Burn, said: “The recent spurt of growth in residential construction continued in December with ongoing strength in both apartment and house building activity.

“Commercial construction, while only just in positive territory in December, is showing signs that the extended recession in this sector may be drawing to a close.”