Civil engineering is expected to be the driving force in the Slovakian construction industry over the next few years, according to research company PMR.

It said that in the Slovak construction sector, residential construction might also contribute, but that this depended largely on economic development in the country. It added that at the same time, the non-residential market was at its most volatile in construction, and that this might continue over the next few years and further affect developments in the industry.

In a new report from PMR entitled Construction Sector in Slovakia 2015 - Development Forecasts for 2015 to 2020, it said that following a year which boasted signs of stabilisation in 2014, growth was expected to return to the Slovak construction industry in 2015.

However, the non-residential market was continuing to lag behind and, therefore, slow down the development of the industry, it said.

Shaken confidence among investors, falling liquidities, declining available cash for fresh investments, and a consequent fall in demand for construction work all continued to have a negative effect on the Slovak construction industry in 2013 and 2014, said PMR. Last year was the sixth consecutive year of decline in construction output.

The negative performance of Slovak construction in 2014 was mainly the result of a fall in non-residential construction, which, as in the previous year, saw a more accentuated decline, said PMR.

It felt, however, that business confidence in the Slovak construction industry in 2014 and early 2015 had grown, fed mainly by transport infrastructure construction investment plans.

As a number of investments in civil engineering constructions are underway and some of the subgroups of non-residential construction picked up in 2014, PMR analysts expected an increase in the growth of Slovak construction output in the coming years, put at somewhere between 4% and 6%.

It said the report showed that only companies with between 20 and 249 employees saw an increase in their construction output in Slovakia in 2014. All other categories of contractors were found to have suffered declines in construction output last year.

The steepest fall was experienced in 2014 by construction companies with between 250 and 499 employees. This reduction brought their total share as a proportion of the market down to less than 2% in 2014. Tradesmen and self-employed people accounted for the largest proportion, almost 36%, of Slovak construction output in 2014. However, this was said to have primarily reflected the high number of such builders.

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