The total number of building approvals issued in Australia skidded a seasonally adjusted 6.2 percent on month in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday – coming in at 18,671.
That missed expectations for a decline of 5.0 percent following the 17.1 percent surge in January.
On a yearly basis, building permits dipped 3.1 percent – again missing forecasts for a gain of 0.3 percent following the 12.0 percent spike in the previous month.
Approvals for private sector houses gained 1.9 percent on month and 6.1 percent on year to 10,082.
Approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses plummeted 16.4 percent on month and 14.8 percent on year to 8,130.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building approved rose 4.1 percent in February.
The value of residential building fell 4.3 percent, while the value of non-residential building spiked 22.6 percent.
Also on Wednesday, the ABS said that the total value of retail sales in Australia advanced a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on month in February, standing at A$26.449 billion.
That beat expectations for a gain of 0.3 percent and was up from 0.1 percent in January.
By category, household goods retailing was up 0.6 percent, while restaurant and clothing sales added 0.4 percent apiece and food retailing gained 0.3 percent. Department stores fell 0.2 percent.
By region, sales in Victoria added 0.6 percent, followed by New South Wales (0.3 percent), Queensland (0.3 percent), South Australia (0.3 percent), Western Australia (0.1 percent), Tasmania (0.2 percent), the Australian Capital Territory (0.1 percent), and the Northern Territory (0.2 percent).