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Financial News: Australia Building Approvals Surge In February

Australia Building Approvals Surge In February

04/02/2017 - 22:17:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The total number of building approvals issued in Australia climbed a seasonally adjusted 8.3 percent on month in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday - standing at 18,995.

That beat expectations for a decline of 1.5 percent following the upwardly revised 2.2 percent gain in January.

On a yearly basis, approvals were down 4.9 percent - but that also beat forecasts for a loss of 14.5 percent following the upwardly revised 11.6 percent contraction in the previous month.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building approved rose 19.9 percent in February following a fall of 3.0 percent in the previous month.

The estimate for private sector houses rose 5.3 percent in February after falling for two months, while the estimate for private sector dwellings excluding houses jumped 10.9 percent.

The value of residential building rose 13.9 percent and has risen for four months. The value of non-residential building surged 34.5 percent following a fall of 16.9 percent in the previous month.

Also on Monday: . The ABS said that the total value of retail sales in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on month in February, coming in at A$25.691 billion. That missed forecasts for an increase of 0.3 percent following the 0.4 percent gain in January.

By category, food retailing was up 0.3 percent, followed by cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.1 percent), and other retailing (0.1 percent).

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing was unchanged (0.0 percent). Household goods retailing (-0.1 percent), and Department Stores (-0.1 percent) were down.

By region, sales were up in New South Wales (0.1 percent), Victoria (0.2 percent), South Australia (0.3 percent), Western Australia (0.1 percent), Tasmania (0.1 percent), the Northern Territory (0.3 percent), and the Australian Capital Territory (0.1 percent). Sales were down 0.1 percent in Queensland.

. The manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in March, albeit at a slightly lower pace, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed with a Performance of Manufacturing Index score of 57.5.

That's down from 59.3 in February, although it remains firmly above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The February reading was the result of an 8.1-point jump to an almost 15-year high.

. Consumer prices in Australia are tipped to have seen a mild increase in March, the latest survey from TD Securities and the Melbourne Institute showed.

The latest inflation forecasts calls for a 0.1 percent monthly increase and a 2.2 percent yearly gain in March.

That follows the 0.3 percent monthly decline and the 2.1 percent yearly increase predicted for February.

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