The strong recent performance strengthened the outlook for the national economy, the ANZ analyst said, which might not be as gloomy as previously predicted.
“I wasn’t expecting such a significant gain in Victoria, with overall construction work done up almost 6 per cent in the state,” Ms Birch told The Age. “That was, I think, the key factor that meant the national work done didn’t fall much as we were expecting.”
RMIT economics professor David Hayward, a close observer of Victoria’s budget and economy, said he, too, had been “very surprised” at the strong performance of the local building sector which he described as very good news for state Treasurer Tim Pallas.
“ He will be delighted with these numbers,” Professor Hayward said. “He’s been saying for some time that the Victorian economy’s in better position than people imagine and these numbers would confirm that to be accurate.”
The economist said he expected construction would continue to play a central role in the economic recovery as other sectors got back up and running.
“It’s still a steam train, and now they’ve taken the constraints off, it’ll pick up again and the other sectors, hospitality and everything, will start booming again as people go back to cafes and restaurants and pubs,” Professor Hayward said.
Fascinating answers to perplexing questions delivered to your inbox every week. Sign up to get our new Explainer newsletter here.