The Australian housing construction sector is still weak in the December quarter 2013, according to data released Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics ( ABS). The ABS figures show the total value of construction work done in Australia fell 1 percent to 53.1 billion AU dollars (47.8 billion U.S. dollars) in the December quarter. The value of residential building work done was down 1.7 percent in the December quarter compared to the September quarter. National Australia Bank senior economist Spiros Papadopoulos said the figures show very little improvement in non-mining investment activity. "The RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) had hoped that dwelling investment would be one of the brighter lights of investment growth this year but it's a very slow recovery," he told the Australian Associated Press (AAP). Total building work done in the December quarter, including homes and non-residential buildings like offices and shops, fell 1. 6 percent, the ABS said. The result is weaker than economists'expectations, indicating the Australian construction industry is still struggling to gain strength. "It shows us construction activity is still soft and we haven't yet seen any significant uplift despite major (cash rate) easing," investment banking firm JP Morgan economist Tom Kennedy said.