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NZ residential building activity dips in second quarter

NZ residential building activity dips in second quarter, led by Canterbury

Sept. 4 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand residential building activity unexpectedly fell in the second quarter, led by a drop-off in Canterbury from a high level as that region continues its rebuild after the earthquakes.

Residential building activity fell 1.8 percent, on an inflation and seasonally adjusted basis, to $1.07 billion in the second quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. That’s the first decline since the first quarter of 2012, when activity dropped 2.9 percent.

Non-residential activity rose 1.4 percent to $934 million for an all-buildings total that declined 0.4 percent to $2 billion.

Building activity in the Canterbury region fell 10 percent in the latest quarter after surging 18 percent three months earlier. Non-residential worked dropped 17 percent while residential fell 5 percent.

“Canterbury was the main source of the downward surprise,” said Michael Gordon, economist at Westpac Banking Corp. Overall, “building activity was softer than we expected, putting downside risk on our forecast of 0.4 percent growth in June quarter GDP.”

Still, building work put in place is lagging behind building consents and “there is a tremendous amount of building work in the pipeline for the next few years.”


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