National construction activity reaches a 10-year high.
Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Canterbury is being credited for a surprise boost in
national construction activity of almost 10%, the highest it
has been in a decade.
Building activity around the quake-hit province is up 34% on
the previous quarter.
ASB economist Christina Leung said Statistics New Zealand
data showing a 9.6% increase in construction activity
nationally was above ASB and market expectations, and was
driven by ''very strong activity in Canterbury''.
''We estimate construction activity in the region increased
34.1% on a seasonally-adjusted basis over the third quarter
[to September], reflecting the rebuild getting well under
way,'' Ms. Leung said.
Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said the bank had
been expecting national quarterly growth of 6% and the
markets growth of 5.5%.
''Nationwide building activity rose sharply in the September
quarter, after a subdued June quarter. The quake-hit
Canterbury region was, not surprisingly, the outperformer,''
However, there were strong gains in other regions, including
7% in central Auckland and Northland, 14% in south Auckland
and the Bay of Plenty and a 9% gain for Wellington.
Ms. Leung said the data showed Canterbury accounted for about
half the increase in both residential and non-residential
She estimated residential construction activity rose 26.1% on
a seasonally-adjusted basis, up from 28.4% the previous
''The rebuilding of houses is gaining further momentum, and
the continued improvement in residential building consents
suggest this will continue over the coming year,'' she said.