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Building industry downbeat about new year

Staff Reporter 1 minute read

Despite dramatic rate reductions and the government’s $21,000 first home owner grant (FHOG) boost for new houses, the Australian building industry is expecting difficult times in 2009.

According to an industry survey released by Master Builders Australia (MBA) yesterday, builder sentiment has plummeted, with a sharp fall in expectations for business activity, profits and investment in 2009.

Around half of the survey’s respondents expected activity to fall by more than 20 per cent in the 12 months ahead.

Peter Jones, MBA’s chief economist, said the significant deterioration in the construction outlook pointed to an urgent need for government assistance – including an extension to the $21,000 FHOG boost – to stimulate not only the building sector but the economy as a whole.

“Effective and timely measures such as these can help provide critical stimulus needed to insulate the economy from the worst effects of the global financial crisis, particularly unemployment.”

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Building industry downbeat about new year
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