Australian construction activity fell sharply in November with the AIG-HIA performance of construction index falling 8pts to 45.4. The decline, the second significant monthly drop in a row, was the largest seen since September 2008 and left the index well below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. Significant declines were recorded in activity (-6.7pts to 47.4), new orders (-8.5pts to 44.0) and supplier deliveries (-8.9pts to 50.1) with all four industry specific sub-sectors deteriorating over the month. Home (51.8) and apartment (58.0) building continued to expand although both were significantly below what was seen in October while engineering and commercial construction contracted at a faster pace, falling to 46.0 and 45.3 respectively. Elsewhere the employment gauge slipped 8.5pts to 42.0, the wage sub-index 1.2pts to 57.4 while selling prices slumped 6pts to 45.2.
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