Builders still feeling credit squeeze

MBA chief economist Peter Jones said commercial and residential builders still struggling with the effects of the credit crunch now had to factor in higher financing costs. He said the sharp rebound in builder sentiment through the middle part of 2009 appeared to have plateaued and forward indicators, such as sales, traffic and capacity, were not yet pointing to a strong and sustainable recovery in building industry conditions.“In the March quarter there was an encouraging pick-up in non-residential building as government stimulus programs began to flow through to work on the ground,” Jones said.The survey revealed little change in builders’ intentions to employ labour, suggesting that workforce levels may remain fairly steady over the next six months, a much better outcome than was expected a year ago in the wake of the global financial crisis. Pressures related to finding skilled labour rose across all categories in the March quarter as builders once again experience some difficulty finding a range of subcontractors/employees, particularly project managers, site managers and foremen/supervisors.

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