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Construction output soars in March

The volume of construction output, based on raw data, was 67.6% higher in March 2019 than a year earlier, albeit from a low base, show monthly data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). Output rose in both main groups of construction: in the construction of buildings by 62.3%, and in civil engineering works by 78.8%.

Based on seasonally and working day-adjusted indices, construction output decreased by 2.5% compared to February.

In the construction of buildings in March, the increase was due to industrial, residential and office buildings. In the civil engineering segment, road and railway projects, as well as energy investments, continued to generate the growth, said the KSH.

Of the divisions of construction, output volume increased by 67.8% in the construction of buildings, by 85.1% in civil engineering, and by 59.2% in specialized construction activities.

In absolute terms, the value of construction sector output reached HUF 342.5 billion in March.

The volume of new contracts increased by 2.5%, within which the volume of new contracts for the construction of buildings went up by 40.8%, while the volume declined by 24.1% year-on-year in civil engineering works. Among buildings, in addition to high-value industrial investments, contracts were signed mainly for educational and sporting facilities.

The stock of contracts at construction enterprises had decreased by 1.2% year-on-year at the end of March. The stock of contracts rose by 50.7% for the construction of buildings, but fell by 14.5% for civil engineering works compared to the end of March 2018.

In January-March 2019, compared to the first quarter of 2018, the volume of construction output grew by 48.2%.  The value of output, at current prices, reached HUF 777.8 bln in Q1 2019.

Producer prices in construction rose 10.3% year-on-year in the first quarter, the data show. Within the divisions of construction, prices increased by 12.4% in the construction of buildings, by 8.3% in civil engineering, and by 10.2% in specialized construction activities (carrying the greatest weight), compared to Q1 2018.

Construction sector data for April 2019 will be published on June 14.