The total number of building permits issued in Australia climbed a seasonally adjusted 10.9 percent on month in December, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday – standing at 19,537.

That was in line with expectations following the 2.6 percent increase in November.

Permits for private sector houses climbed 15.8 percent on month to 13,638, while permits for private sector dwellings excluding houses added 2.3 percent to 5,625.

On a yearly basis, overall dwellings spiked 22.8 percent, while private sector house dwellings surged 55.6 percent and dwellings excluding houses tumbled 19.3 percent.

Approvals for private houses were strong across the country, with Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia all reaching record highs in seasonally adjusted terms. New South Wales recorded its highest private house approval figure since March 2000 and it was Queensland’s highest since September 1994.

Dwelling approvals rose in Tasmania (66.5 percent), Queensland (24.0 percent), South Australia (16.7 percent), Victoria (8.6 percent), Western Australia (7.8 percent) and New South Wales (1.8 percent).

Approvals for private sector houses rose in South Australia (33.6 percent), Victoria (17.2 percent), New South Wales (16.2 percent), Queensland (7.5 percent) and Western Australia (5.3 percent).

The value of total building approved rose 4.9 percent in December, in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of non-residential building rose 10.1 percent, having fallen 27.7 percent in November.

The value of total residential building approved rose in December, by 2.3 percent. The value of new residential building rose 1.4 percent, while the value of residential alterations and additions rose 8.1 percent. The value of residential alterations and additions reached a record high in December at A$941.6 million.

Also on Wednesday, the latest survey from Westpac Bank and the Melbourne Institute showed that consumer confidence improved in February as their sentiment index rose 1.9 percent to a reading of 109.1.

That follows the 4.5 percent drop in January to 107.0.

The management of the pandemic locally has had a constructive effect on confidence. The success of contact tracing and light-handed lockdowns has been important in containing a worrying cluster of cases since the last survey in January.

The Reserve Bank’s surprise extension of its Quantitative Easing program signals ongoing commitment from the monetary authorities to supporting the Australian economy. Consistent positive news on the recovery of the job market would also have boosted confidence.

Nationally, confidence has clearly lifted substantially above pre-pandemic levels. The overall Index is now 14.2 percent above its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

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