The total number of building permits issued in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 4.4 percent on month in December, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, standing at 12,767.
That was well shy of forecasts for a 1.0 percent increase following the upwardly revised 3.4 percent increase in November (originally reported as 2.9 percent).
On a yearly basis, building approvals were up 9.3 percent - also missing forecasts for an increase of 14.9 percent after climbing 13.2 percent in the previous month.
The seasonally adjusted estimate for private sector houses fell 3.3 percent on month in December to 7,213 and has fallen for three months. They were down 3.8 percent on year.
The seasonally adjusted estimate for private sector dwellings excluding houses dropped 5.4 percent on month to 5,347 in December following a rise of 11.5 percent in the previous month. On year, they surged 31.7 percent.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building approved fell 1.9 percent in December and has fallen for three months. The value of residential building fell 3.0 percent following a rise of 3.7 percent in the previous month. The value of non-residential building rose 0.1 percent following a fall of 10.0 percent in the previous month.
Also on Monday, ANZ Bank said that the total number of job advertisements in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent on month in January, standing at 133,649. That follows the upwardly revised 2.8 percent decline in December (originally reported at -3.8 percent). On year, ads were down 18.4 percent. Internet job ads were down 0.6 percent on month and 17.5 percent on year, while newspaper ads dropped 9.2 percent on year.
Finally, TD Securities said that its gauge of inflation in Australia was up 0.3 percent on month in January, slowing from 0.4 percent in December. On a yearly basis, inflation is expected to come in at 2.5 percent in January, the data showed, up from 2.4 percent in the previous month. That reading is not expected to spur the Reserve Bank of Australia into cutting rates at tomorrow's monetary policy meeting, TD said.
"We conclude that the RBA is in a comfortable position to discuss the outlook and the risks at the board meeting tomorrow without reducing the cash rate further, for now," TD Securities head of Asia-Pacific research Annette Beacher said in a statement accompanying the data.
by RTT Staff Writer
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