Engineering construction and building projects in Australia countered a slowdown in the apartment market. It allowed the overall construction sector to continue an expansion trend.
The construction industry has continued to expand for eight months in a row. This is according to the Performance of Construction Index (PCI). The continuous growth took place after the index reached 54.7 in September. The growth, however, represented the lowest level since April.
The volume of activity in September fell 0.6 points to its current reading. Despite that, it still marked “healthy levels” for the construction industry. This is according to Ai Group head of policy Peter Burn. An index reading above 50 means growth. That is good news for contractors such as pipe supplier REHAU South East Asia. It means a continual demand for construction equipment.
Burn added that there is a generally positive outlook for the industry in the near future. That is amid an increase in new orders, more jobs and higher salaries. Residential and engineering construction served as the main drivers of growth. Commercial activity, on the other hand, remained stable during the month.
Any increase in construction activity will eventually require a need to improve building safety codes. The Australian Labor Party, for instance, intends to establish a national licensing system for fire safety regulations.
The proposed Building Industry Licensing Authority would be in charge of developing the system. Along with it is the ability to sanction violators of the building codes. These sanctions include fines and even suspending or revoking licences in certain circumstances. Australian Labor Party Bill Shorten said that the new regulations would complement a previous proposal. That proposal aims to prohibit the use of highly flammable cladding materials.
A continuous level of growth in Australia’s overall construction sector bodes well for the economy and enterprises that depend on it. It also benefits the employment market, as more activity means a higher demand for skilled labour.