Up-tick in construction growth

By Chris Sleight09 May 2008

New data from Eurostat shows that growth in construction output increased in January compared to a year ago. The European Commission's statistical arm says output in the EU 27 was +0,7% higher in the first month of this year, compared to January 2007.

Although full data for every European country was not available, Eurostat's numbers show there was a significant turnaround in Germany in January. Construction output was +7,4% higher than a year ago, reversing the previous five months of falling investment.

There were also strong rebounds in the France, the Netherlands and Slovakia.

Romania remains the fastest growing construction market in Europe, with year-on-year grow well above +30% throughout 2007. Figures for this January, compared to a year ago put the market's expansion at +33,7%.

Despite buoyancy in Eastern Europe, Eurostat says growth is stronger in the 15-country Euro-zone than in the EU 27 as a whole. One of the reasons for this is falling construction output in non-Euro countries, Sweden and the UK, although a drop of -8,0% in Spanish construction output had an impact on the Euro-zone total.

In terms of sectors, Eurostat says the civil engineering market in bother the Euro-zone and EU27 as a whole remains more buoyant than the building sector. Civil engineering output rose +1,6% in the EU27 and +1,9% in the Euro-zone in the 12 months to the end of January.

In contrast, building output was up just +0,5% in the EU27, but was stronger in the Euro zone with a +1,7% rise.

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