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Building activity fell 6.3% in March quarter, SNZ

Wednesday 8th June 2011

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Building activity fell 6.3% in the March 2011 quarter, after adjusting for seasonal effects, Statistics New Zealand said today.

This latest change in the volume of building work was led by a decrease in non-residential building work (down 10.4%), with smaller decrease in residential building work (down 2.1%).

"We don't normally comment on regional information for the value of building work because this survey is not designed to produce accurate regional estimates," business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "However, the information we have suggests that in Canterbury, building activity decreased significantly, at least in part due to the 22 February earthquake.

"While the fall in Canterbury is undoubtedly a key part of the story, it is not all of it," added Holmes-Oliver. "If we exclude it from the national results, we still see decreases in both residential and non-residential building activity."

As mentioned above, the overall fall in the volume of building work was driven by non-residential building activity. This fell 10.4% in the March 2011 quarter, reversing the 9.2% rise in the December 2010 quarter. The latest decline in non-residential building work is the first since the December 2009 quarter.

The volume of residential building work also fell, but by a lesser 2.1% in the March 2011 quarter. This was the third consecutive fall, having dropped 12.4% over the previous two quarters.

In March 2011 year compared with the March 2010 year, the unadjusted value of all building work was $11,023 million, up 4.5%

  • residential building work was $6,188 million, up 5.9%
  • non-residential building work was $4,834 million, up 2.7%
  • Data on building activity is obtained each quarter primarily by a postal survey of around 3,500 builders, owners, and other building consent applicants.

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