Australia’s construction sector grows at fastest rate for 12 years
July saw the largest growth in the Australian construction industry for at least 12 years, new findings reveal.
The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI®) increased by 4.5 points to 60.5 in July, signaling the strongest acceleration of industry growth since the survey’s inception in September 2005.
Readings above 50 indicate expansion in activity, with the distance from 50 indicating the strength of the increase.
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Ai Group Head of Policy, Peter Burn, said: "The national construction industry has continued its strong run with infrastructure work, a resurgent commercial construction sub-sector and ongoing healthy levels of activity in residential building combining to more than offset the further wind-down of mining-related work.
“The buoyancy of the sector is evident in strong levels of current activity and employment growth and growing order books. The long-awaited pick-up in commercial construction seen over the past three months is particularly welcome in light of the anticipated wind-down in apartment building from the very high recent levels and suggests that the national construction industry will continue to play a leading role in the economy for some time to come.”
Some key findings from the report include:
- All four construction sub-sectors expanded in July, with house building (up 3.4 points to 62.4) and commercial construction (up 9.8 points to 64.3 – its highest level in 12 years) the major drivers of growth. More robust conditions were also evident in engineering construction (up 6.9 points to 57.5) and apartment building recovered ground, returning to modest growth (up 4.3 points to 52.6).
- Growth in new orders (up 2.7 points to 64.6) and activity (up 5.2 points to 58.3) accelerated in July to rates among the strongest in the survey’s 12-year history, leading to solid expansions in deliveries from suppliers (up 6.4 points to 59.2) and employment (up 4.8 points to 59.0).
- Cost pressures in construction intensified in July, with the input prices sub-index up 7.4 points to 73.6 and wages growth also continuing (up 3.7 points to 64.6). Growth in the selling prices sub-index (up 6.7 points to 59.1) suggests costs are being passed on, but not broadly given strong market competition.
HIA Principal Economist, Tim Reardon, said: “The ongoing boom in apartment construction in metro areas, combined with investment in infrastructure projects, is ensuring strong conditions across the sector. The housing industry has been cooling from record highs in 2016 but there remains a significant amount of work in the pipeline."
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.