The slowdown in housing construction continues to weigh on the Australian economy, the latest data shows.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, data from the the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that Australia’s economy grew by just 0.4 percent in the September quarter and by only 1.7 percent over the year to September.
On a per-capita basis, the economy has grown by just 0.2 percent per year.
Driving the soft readings was a 2.8 percent fall in dwelling construction investment.
Construction in houses contracted by 2.1 percent whilst multi-unit construction dropped 3.7 percent.
Over the past year, dwelling construction investment has fallen by 11 percent.
Outside of housing, mining investment fell 7.8 percent in the quarter and 11.2 percent over the year as large-scale LNG projects moved from construction to production.
Household consumption (up 0.1 percent) barely moved and is up only 1.2 percent over the year.
More positively, non-mining business investment increased by 1.2 percent during the quarter on the back of commercial building and road projects.
Government spending and activity in healthcare and social assistance were also up.
The latest data follows the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to leave interest rates on hold.
In its statement, the RBA said it expected a gradual upturn in the economy during 2020 but would ease monetary policy further if needed to support sustainable economic growth.
Despite the subdued nature of the economy, ANZ Senior Economist Shane Oliver welcomed the fact that the economy was still growing.
“Very weak consumer spending & falling dwelling and biz investment but public spending, inventory and net exports are keeping the economy going,” Oliva tweeted.
“Poor balance – but at least still growing.”