Australia's total dwelling approvals jumped 6.8 percent in January, figures released on Tuesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show. The ABS reported the total number of dwellings approved in Australia increased to 17,514 in January. Over the year to January, approvals for the construction of new homes rose 34.6 percent. The January result was better than economists' forecast of a 0. 5 percent rise for the month. Economists say the jump in approvals in January shows a sign of recovery in the residential building sector, helped by record low interest rates. "It's an encouraging sign that residential construction is going to provide that strong contribution to growth this year," St George Bank economist Janu Chan told the Australian Associated Press (AAP). "It will assist in filling the (mining investment) gap and the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) has been looking for non-mining parts of the economy to start picking up and this is further evidence this will be occurring," he said.