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Building activity fell 6.3% in March quarter, but value rose

Statistics NZ tracks Canterbury slowdown.

NBR staff
Wed, 08 Jun 2011

Figures just released by Statistics NZ show that In the March 2011 quarter, the seasonally adjusted volume of:

  • All building work fell 6.3 percent, following a 0.6 percent increase in the last quarter.
  • Non-residential building work fell 10.4 percent, following a 9 percent increase in the last quarter.
  • Residential building work fell 2.1 percent, the third consecutive decrease.
  • Building work in Canterbury fell considerably, although if Canterbury was excluded from the total figures there would still be a significant decrease.    

In the March 2011 year compared with the March 2010 year, the unadjusted value of:

  • all building work was $11.02 billion up 4.5 percent
  • residential building work was $6.19 billion, up 5.9 percent
  • non-residential building work was $4,83 billion, up 2.7 percent.

“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

“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 Mrs Holmes-Oliver.

“If we exclude it from the national results, we still see decreases in both residential and nonresidential 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 percent in the March 2011 quarter, reversing the 9.2 percent rise in the December
2010 quarter. The latest decline in non-residential building work is the first since the December 2009

The volume of residential building work also fell, but by a lesser 2.1 percent in the March 2011 quarter.

This was the third consecutive fall, having dropped 12.4 percent over the previous two quarters.

Data on building activity is obtained each quarter primarily by a postal survey of around 3,500 builders, owners, and other building consent applicants.

NBR staff
Wed, 08 Jun 2011
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Building activity fell 6.3% in March quarter, but value rose