ACIF Forecasts Launch - May 2017

12 April 2017

The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) will launch its new ten-year forecasts for building and construction at the ACIF Briefing in Sydney on Thursday 4 May.

ACA members are invited to enjoy a networking breakfast with business and government delegates before a presentation of the ACIF Forecasts by Head Forecaster Kerry Barwise, followed by an expert panel discussion including senior staff from Cbus, CoreLogic, Colliers and the Royal Bank of Canada.

The ACIF Briefing will launch the comprehensive forecasts, which feature residential building, non-residential building and engineering construction across Australia up to 2028. ACIF Forecasts include the work demand for all sectors, the major projects driving much of the work, and the relevant labour needs and costs of construction. They are prepared by respected economic modellers, using high quality data sources, and are overseen by ACIF’s Construction Forecasting Council, an industry panel of expert analysts and researchers. 

In the May 2017 ACIF Forecasts, industry-leading forecasters will answer the big questions that directly or indirectly impact every company and employee in the building and construction industry, and the allied manufacturing and property sectors.

The Big Questions

Will the ‘Trump Bump’ crunch the Australian construction market?

Markets have already driven up yields on longer term debt in the US and in Australia. The Fed in the US has raised official interest rates and foreshadows that more increases are on the way. The Reserve Bank of Australia is again in the spotlight as it seeks to take these and other factors into account when setting interest rates. What exactly are the factors that are weighing on the Reserve Bank right now? What changes in official interest rates, investment and building and construction work are looming?

Is foreign investor interest waxing or waning?

Foreign investors have been busy, especially in residential property. Most recent official statistics show that foreign demand has soaked up a significant share of new apartments and this has probably contributed to sharp increases in prices and problems with housing affordability, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

Foreign property investors are now subject to additional taxes and charges and closer supervision. Meanwhile, some of the economic fundamentals are shifting. Regulators in China, the key origin of many foreign investors, are tightening their own controls on capital outflows. The economic fundamentals such as exchange rate differentials and interest rates differentials are also less favourable for foreign investors. How are foreign investors expected to react? What difference will this make to the outlook for residential construction activity and other construction market outcomes?

Where is the multi-speed economy taking construction?

Swings in the economic fortunes of key industries have driven the Australian states in different gears and different speeds. Western Australia and Queensland raced ahead given the once-in-a-lifetime mining development boom. The housing construction boom started in Victoria, producing record rates of growth in the building of new houses before spreading out to other states, including Queensland and, belatedly, New South Wales. These cycles are now in decline or are about to reach a tipping point. How will further changes in gears in the economic engine room shape outcomes in activities such as tourism and education? Will demographic factors continue the surge in demand for health and aged care services and facilities? Will the coming waves of change and economic volatility continue to have an uneven impact on the different states? Almost certainly. This will also have an uneven impact on construction work and employment.

How will rising interest rates impact on the outlook for construction work and employment?

Record low interest rates have driven a resurgence in housing investment, higher house prices in key markets and higher household debt. Commentary abounds on how rising interest rates will affect housing prices, and whether this will return housing affordability to more normal levels. Some analysts are concerned about the stability of the banking system and the national economy if debt-fuelled growth continues. How can we sidestep these problems? What policy settings are required and where will good luck or good management prevail? How will this impact the outlook for construction work and employment?

Launch Details 


7am–9.30am, Thursday 4 May


International Convention Centre, Sydney


$155 per person

(includes live launch of the ACIF Forecasts; a dynamic panel discussion by industry leaders; a delicious networking breakfast; PDF copy of the new Australian Construction Market Report; plus VIP entrance to DesignBuildExpo immediately after the Briefing, located opposite this event) 


Register for the ACIF Forecasts here

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