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Construction sector output down 2.9% yr/yr in January

Output volume of Hungary’s construction sector in January was down 2.9% in volume terms from a year earlier according to both unadjusted and working-day adjusted figures, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported on Monday.

January construction output fell 1.4% from December 2006, according to seasonally and working-day adjusted figures. Construction sector output fell 1.6% in 2006 after a 16.1% rise in 2005. Building construction volume rose 1.1% year on year in January, according to unadjusted figures, but volume of the civil engineering sector fell 7.4%. Compared to December, building construction volume rose 6.1% in January and civil engineering volume fell 0.5%, according to seasonally and working-day adjusted figures.

Construction companies received 62% fewer orders in volume terms in January compared to the same month a year earlier. New orders for buildings fell 7.4% and new civil engineering orders were down a steep 82.7%. The sharp fall resulted from a high base, boosted by big contracts for a bridge on the Budapest ring road as well as a sewerage project signed in January 2006, KSH noted. The total stock of the sector’s orders was 29.7% less at the end of January than a year earlier, as a 8.6% rise in the stock of orders for buildings was offset by a 41.9% decline in the orders held for civil engineering projects.

Cost-based prices of the sector rose 8.6% in the year to January 2007, including a 9.3% year on year rise in the price of civil engineering projects. Prices dropped a slight 0.1% compared to December, with civil engineering prices down 0.6%. Construction output at current prices totaled Ft 113.1 billion in January, including civil engineering output of Ft 50.9 billion. The sector held total orders worth Ft 938.8 billion at the end of January, including Ft 80 billion in new orders received in January. The stock of civil engineering orders was 554.2 billion at current prices at the end of January of which Ft 27.7 billion arrived in the month. (Bloomberg)