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Construction activity occurs in three broad sectors: residential building, non-residential building and engineering construction. The level of activity of the construction industry by sectors is shown in table 19.3. In 2001-02 residential building accounted for 44% of the value of work done, engineering construction for 34% and non-residential building for 22%.
The pattern of construction activity by sector has changed substantially over time (graph 19.4). In 1987-88, the value of non-residential building activity was greater than engineering construction activity. After 1991-92, however, engineering construction activity has consistently exceeded non-residential building activity.
Graph 19.4 also shows the acceleration in residential building activity to record levels prior to the introduction of The New Tax System in July 2000, followed by a substantial downturn until the start of 2001.
Over the past decade, public sector construction has remained relatively constant, maintaining an annual value of work done of around $15b (graph 19.5). Private sector construction on the other hand has been more volatile, particularly over the past few years. The value of private sector construction declined sharply after July 2000, falling by 24%. Private sector construction has, however, almost recovered from this sharp decline, increasing 20% in 2001-02.
More detailed information on the value of residential and non-residential building work done is presented in table 19.6. In 2001-02 the value of building work done increased by $5,483m (16%) to $39,137m, following a significant fall of 23% in 2000-01. During 2001-02, work done on total new residential buildings increased by $4,130m (23%), recovering the majority of the 27% decline experienced during 2000-01. Non-residential building activity did not experience the same level of recovery, increasing by $688m (6%) in 2001-02, following a decline of $2,549m (-17%) during the preceding year.