Approvals for the construction of new homes dropped 1.8 percent across Australia in October, figures released Monday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed. The ABS reported the total number of dwelling approvals fell to 16,491 in October. Over the year to October, dwelling approvals were up 23.1 percent. Economists' forecast was for a fall of 4.5 percent for the month. Global Investment banking group Macquarie Group economist Brian Redican said the building approval figures were unlikely to prompt the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to lower the cash rate in December. "We think they're marginally on the weaker side but you need several more months of substantially weaker data to change the RBA 's mind," he told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).