Growth Driver

THE housing and renovation industry accounted for over one third of Australia’s economic growth in 2002.

The national accounts figures released last week show that housing added $11.5 billion to GDP in the December quarter 2002.

Housing Industry Association executive director John Dastlik said the figures reinforced the important role that housing and renovations played in driving economic growth.

Mr Dastlik said that, while 2002 was a year characterised by low interest rates, investor and first-home buyer related construction, 2003 shaped up as a more subdued year.

“The amount of work in the pipeline will be a positive for the first half of the year but the effect of drought, world oil prices and land shortages are of concern,” he said.

“To soften the slowdown in housing and to minimise the adverse economic effects, it is vital that interest rates remain low and the announcement by the Reserve Bank to leave interest rates unchanged is welcomed by the the housing sector.” 

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