Although we have been, and continue to be, rather sceptical about the Master Builders Survey of Industry Conditions (largely because the forecast changes always seem either wildly optimistic, or horribly pessimistic) their most recent report for the Sept quarter (available for download here) shows actual business performance conditions (as opposed to forecasted) in FNQ as positive for the first time in 2 years. The graph below, taken from the report, shows the improvement.
We remain more sanguine about the expected surge in trading conditions forecast (see below) but it is certainly clear that conditions have improved dramatically over the past 2 years. The Cairns Post have run with the story and also highlighted the latest Herron Todd White Cairns Watch report which estimates trend building approvals in Cairns are up 26% from Jan to Aug, while trend employment is up 5% from Jan to Sept. Our own Conus Trend data shows Cairns trend approvals up 24.4% from Jan to Aug (Sept data to be released next Monday) and employment up 3.4% from Jan to Sept. While the numbers may vary slightly the story is the same; there has been marked improvement in Cairns this year.
UPDATE: Mark Beath over at Loose Change has also posted on the Master Builders report and includes an interesting graph showing that the disconnect between forecast and reality has been shrinking.