Europe’s construction output grows

By Helen Wright17 February 2012

Seasonally adjusted construction output in the Eurozone increased 7.8% in December 2011, compared to a year earlier, while output in the EU27 rose 7.4%, according to the latest figures from Eurostat.

The year-on-year boost in output was fuelled by strong growth in Germany, where construction output grew 44.3%, the Czech Republic where growth was 16.1%, and Poland with a 14.9% increase.

Offsetting this, the largest year-on-year decreases were registered in Slovenia (-21.9%), Bulgaria (-11.1%) and Portugal (-10.8%).

Overall, building construction activity increased 7.0% in the Eurozone in December last year, compared to the year before, and 5.7% in the EU27. Civil engineering output increased 8% in the Eurozone and 13.6% in the EU27.

But while the annual construction output figures showed encouraging gains, the month-on-month comparison showed a more mixed picture. In December 2011 compared with November 2011, seasonally adjusted production rose 0.3% in the Eurozone and fell 0.4% in the EU27.

Indeed, while Germany led the charge in terms of annual increases, it actually registered a 6.4% drop in construction output in December, compared to November. The UK saw a 10.5% month-on-month fall in output, while Slovenia registered a 8.1% drop.

Meanwhile, the highest monthly increases were registered in the Czech Republic (5.5%), Slovakia (3.8%) and Poland (2.9%).

In terms of sectors, building construction output increased 1.5% in the Eurozone 0.4% in the EU27 in December, compared to November last year, while civil engineering output fell 2.6% in the Eurozone and 0.7% in the EU27.

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