VIDEO: Construction outlook for 2010

27 January 2010

The prospects for the global construction industry will improve this year, with developing markets in Asia leading the way. There will also be a recovery in parts of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, but conditions will remain difficult - although not as bad as in 2009 - in developed Asia, the US and Europe.

Overall that should mean there is a little growth in global construction output in 2010. Data from IHS Global Insight says that following the -1.25% drop in 2008 and massive -4,9% drop in 2009, the markets will be flat in 2010 - there may be 1% growth overall.

The strongest growth next year will be in Asia, led by China and India. China is expected to see the highest growth rate of any construction market in 2010 - IHS Global Insight estimates it will be +10.8% - and China is now reckoned to be second only to the US in terms of the size of construction output.

Latin America also looks like it will see good growth next year, although not on a par with Asia. The biggest construction market in the region is Brazil, which weathered the financial crisis well thanks to strong public finances and a commitment to spending - particularly on public housing and infrastructure.

There will also be a general picture of growth in the smaller markets of Africa and the Middle East this year. In Africa, growth looks like it will be strongest in Northern Africa, particularly the Maghreb countries along the Mediterranean coast, which are rich in gas and oil. Of these, Algeria is the largest construction market, thanks to ambitious on-going plans to build a variety of infrastructure form roads to houses, schools and hospitals.

In Europe construction output is expected to fall again in 2010, following a decline of between -8% and -10% in 2009. This year's fall will not be so severe - probably 2 to 4%. The hardest hit markets will continue to be Ireland, Spain and the UK, while there will be minimal falls elsewhere as well as growth in Eastern Europe, parts of Scandinavia and Germany.

Like Europe, North America will see an overall fall in construction output of up to -5% this year. On the positive side, the rebound is expected to be pretty strong in 2011 due to the pent-up demand that has accumulated over the long construction recession.

For more information, see the 2010 edition of World Construction, which contains more than 100 pages of forecasts analysis and other information. The yearbook is now available to buy from the information store.

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