Construction likely rose in June quarter

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Much of the recent focus of economists has been on the widely expected economic contraction during the September quarter as result of virus lockdowns and whether this downturn will extend into the December quarter.

It makes next week’s national accounts for the June quarter somewhat dated, although there is still interest in the ‘building blocks’ that are released over the next week that will make up the overall growth result.

Signs are the economy was already slowing from the rapid recovery seen shortly after last year’s recession and before the current downturn..

“At this stage though, a negative Q2 outcome seems unlikely,” BetaShares chief economist David Bassanese says.

For example, it is already known retail sales in the quarter rose by 0.8 per cent .

Even so, one economist is predicting just 0.2 per cent growth in the June quarter national accounts on September 1, leaving little wriggle room as a spread of reports are released over coming days.

Two quarters of economic contraction are classified as a technical recession.

June quarter construction work figures are due on Wednesday.

Economists’ forecasts centre on a 2.8 per cent rise in the quarter, slightly stronger than in the March quarter, with gains again expected to centre on housing construction.

The housing sector continues to respond to ultra-low interest rates and the lingering impact from the federal government’s HomeBuilder program.

Business investment figures for the June quarter are due on Wednesday, while reports for company profits, inventories and international trade for the same period are due early next week.