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Builder suvey points to downturn, job losses
Released 13 October 2011

Builders expect industry activity and profits to fall and jobs may go, according to Master Builders Australia’s September quarter 2011 national survey.   

Master Builders Australia Chief Economist Peter Jones said the Master Builders’ latest national survey for the September quarter highlights a worrying deterioration in business conditions that builders operating in both commercial and residential building are now facing.

“Builders report a worsening in own business conditions and outlook, with private sector demand failing to pick up and fill the gap left as Building the Education Revolution, Social Housing and other government stimulus programs end.”

He said the building and construction industry has lost the cushioning effect of government stimulus programs, while the credit squeeze and other regulatory constraints continue to affect business operating conditions.

“Non-residential or commercial builders, already experiencing poor conditions, face the prospect of falling activity, with conditions in residential building now also expected to deteriorate.”

Jones said with activity and profits under pressure, it is little surprise that builders have indicated that they will be looking carefully at workforce levels in the period ahead.

“Large parts of the building and construction industry are doing it tough and the Reserve Bank should consider cutting rates or at the very least keeping interest rates on hold until a private sector recovery is able to gain momentum.”