Construction output stalls in March
The volume of construction output was just 1.4% higher in March 2018 than the same month a year earlier, slowing sharply after more than a year of double-digit growth. Output increased in both main groups of construction: in the construction of buildings by 0.2%, and in civil engineering works by 4.1%.
Based on seasonally and working day-adjusted indices, construction output decreased by 10.3% in March compared to the previous month, the latest data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH) show.
The slowdown could be explained by the number of working days during the period, noted state news agency MTI. There were 20 working days this March, including one "working Saturday" to make up for a four-day holiday weekend, compared to 22 in the base period.
Of the divisions of construction in March 2018, compared to March 2017, output increased by 1.5% in the construction of buildings and by 4.6% in civil engineering; however, specialized construction activities decreased by 0.1%.
The volume of new contracts fell by 7.1% year-on-year, within which the volume of new contracts concluded increased by 32.2% in the construction of buildings, but fell 22.7% in civil engineering works.
In March, high-value contracts were concluded for office buildings, as well as for commercial, industrial and educational buildings.
At the end of March, the month-end stock of contracts at construction enterprises was 78.8% higher year-on-year. The stock of contracts was 5.0% higher for the construction of buildings, and 116.9% higher for civil engineering works than a year earlier.
In January-March 2018, compared to the first quarter of 2017, construction output rose by 19.0%.
In the first quarter, construction producer prices increased by 8.2% compared to the same period of the previous year.
Within the divisions of construction in the first quarter, prices increased by 11.0% in the construction of buildings, by 5.9% in civil engineering, and by 8.5% in specialized construction activities (carrying the greatest weight) compared to Q1 2017.
Construction prices increased quarter-on-quarter by 3.3%.
Construction output data for April will be published on June 15.
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