NSW leads way in recovery of construction sector

NSW and Victoria are unexpected bright spots in the country's building landscape. New figures show the value of private non-residential construction in NSW surged 8 per cent in the December quarter and 4 per cent in Victoria.

NSW and Victoria are unexpected bright spots in the country's building landscape. New figures show the value of private non-residential construction in NSW surged 8 per cent in the December quarter and 4 per cent in Victoria.

Over the year to December, NSW private non-residential construction climbed 11 per cent and Victorian construction 14 per cent.

The most recent quarter's growth puts the two biggest states on a par with Western Australia, where construction climbed 3 per cent. However, over the year to December, West Australian non-residential construction spending climbed 30 per cent.

About $540 billion was spent on construction work for Victorian wholesalers and retailers in the quarter, the most in five years. The $1.7 trillion total spend by the private sector was also the most in five years.

Victorian government building spending was feeble by comparison. Only $549 billion was spent in the quarter, just 60 per cent of what was spent two years earlier.

In NSW $710 billion was spent on work for wholesalers and retailers, more than at any time since 2009. Private sector non-residential construction spending totalled $1.6 trillion.

Bureau of Statistics figures show government spending was $240 billion, only one-fifth of the $1.3 trillion spent three years earlier.

A Commonwealth Bank assessment of the states' prospects found that NSW retail spending is outpacing the national average, motor vehicle sales are surging and the housing market improving.

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