European construction output declines

By Helen Wright17 March 2011

Construction output in the Euro area fell -4,5% year-on-year in January, while annual output in the EU27 fell 1,2%, according to Eurostat - the statistical arm of the European Commission.

Aside from a short rally at the end of 2007, year-on-year declines in construction output have been recorded by Eurostat since November 2006. Spain led the decline in January 2011, with a -43,2% drop in output recorded. Slovenia and Bulgaria were the second and third worst performers, with -17,1% and -12,4% declines recorded respectively.

Offsetting this, construction output rose by +55,4% in Germany year-on-year in January. Poland and Sweden also recorded gains, with +11,1% and +10 % increases in output respectively.

And Eurostat's monthly comparison figures also revealed growth with a +1,8% increase in Euro area construction output and a +1% increase in output from EU27 states recorded compared to December, 2010.

Overall, Eurostat said building construction output decreased by -3,1% in the Euro area year-on-year during January, but increased by +0,2% in the EU27, after respective annual declines of -11,5% and -7,7% in December 2010. Civil engineering dropped by -12,5% in the Euro area and by -9,8% in the EU27, after -24,5% and -18,0% respective year-on-year falls in the previous month.

The Euro area consists of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland, while the EU27 consists of all 27 countries that make up the European Union. Since January this year, the Euro area also includes Estonia.

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