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MBA says engineering construction activity expected to ‘remain strong’

MBA says engineering construction activity expected to ‘remain strong’

Master Builders Australia have forecast a 'mixed recovery' based on a positive growth plan over the three-year period to 2015-16.

Students who are interested in entering the building and construction sector and are currently taking part in school-based apprenticeships, will be happy to hear that Master Builders Australia (MBA) latest forecasts have predicted a “positive growth path” for the industry.

The MBA released forecasts yesterday (May 20) that indicate a mixed recovery based on a positive growth path over the three-year forecast period to 2015-16.

Chief economist for MBA Peter Jones said that this return to more positive conditions indicated light at the end of a ‘very long tunnel’ for the commercial and residential building sectors.

However, he added that this does not signal a return to ‘boom era levels’. The current economic climate could provide some barriers to the strength and timing of recovery in the forecast period.

The forecast, developed by Master Builders in cooperation with Independent Economics, found that there were signs that the investment phase is starting to peak, but activity is expected to stay strong.

“After very strong growth, Engineering Construction activity in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland are forecast to fall back, albeit remaining at extremely high levels in an historical context,” Mr Jones said.

“The forecast improvement in building and construction conditions is set against a background of the two speed economy with weak activity outside of mining, fiscal consolidation, poor sentiment, a high Australian dollar and the soft labour market.”

Mr Jones added that forecast recovery in non-mining related parts of the building and construction industry is mixed, with performance by state and sector highly variable.

He adds that Queensland, as well as Western Australia and New South Wales, are set to enjoy “better times” after a number of challenging years.

Recent results from Master Builders’ quarterly survey for central Queensland (March 2013 quarter) indicated that there was growing confidence in the local building and construction industry.

“Despite persistent tough trading conditions, confidence in the outlook for the economy and the building and construction industry continued to grow in the first quarter of 2013,” the Master Builders Survey of Industry Conditions stated.

“The rising optimism is largely due to a growing belief that the residential sector has finally bottomed and the long awaited recovery is now underway.”

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