Activity throughout the construction sector in Australia dropped back by 0.3 percent in the first quarter, the latest data has found.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the overall dollar value of building and engineering work done throughout the country dropped by 0.3 percent during the quart to come in at $50.033 billion.

Whilst civil and engineering construction activity remained unchanged, residential building work dropped by 0.6 percent whilst non-residential building dropped by 0.3 percent.

Compared with the March quarter one year earlier, overall construction activity was down 5.4 percent thanks to an 11 percent drop in residential building and a 3.0 percent drop in engineering.

Meanwhile, dwelling unit commencements edged back up 3.8 percent over the quarter but were down 1.6 percent year on year.

The results predate the impact of COVID, which is expected to have substantial negative impact on housing and commercial building.