Strong population growth to boost building activity

By Gerv Tacadena

Population growth will help boost building activity.

Australia's building activity is slated to get a shot in the arm from strong population growth. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the annualised population growth rate remained at 1.6% during the March 2019 quarter.

The population growth will be able to give life to the residential building sector, which has been subdued for the past two years, said Housing Industry Association economist Angela Lillicrap.

"Stable population growth is a welcome development for the residential building industry, as it will support the industry as it recalibrates to a new equilibrium level," she said.

Lillicrap said that population growth is a key economic indicator that could influence the country's productivity and workforce capacity.

"Given Australia's ageing population, attracting skilled workers from overseas has become increasingly important," she said.

Also read: What the population growth means for the housing market

She said it is a good thing that Australia's population growth has remained strong and stable for the past three years. Given the importance of population growth, Lillicrap said it is prudent for governments to maintain a stable, well-rounded migration intake as part of an overall population policy.

"Dramatic changes in migration intake can create shocks in demand for businesses, including those in the residential building industry. Changes to migration policies that slow population growth risk adversely impacting Australia's potential for economic growth," she said.

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