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Hungary’s construction sector output down 6.2% yr/yr in December

Twelve-month contraction of Hungary's construction output slowed to 6.2% in December.

The sector's output volume dropped 4.3% in 2009; output fell each year since 2006. Building construction fell now for the third year, by 12.6% in 2009. Output of the civil engineering segment, in contrast, rose for the second year, by 6.2% last year, after declines in 2006 and 2007. Producer prices in the sector rose on average 3.1% last year after rising 5.8% in 2008, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said.

KSH said the construction of homes, commercial and office buildings all fell last year while a rise in civil engineering output which started in H2 2008 continued to almost to the end of 2009, boosted by road, underground, electricity network expansion and railway reconstruction projects.

Full-year construction sector output fell 4.3%-4.3% both in 2009 and 2008. After declining by an identical 4.3% in 2008. After double-digit growth in 2005 output slipped slightly in 2006 and fell 14.4% in 2006.

December 2009 output of the sector was down 6.2% according to both adjusted and unadjusted figures from the same month a year earlier, as the drop slowed from 14.2% in November. Except for March and June, output fell yr/yr each month of last year.

In a month-on-month comparison, output volume rose 8.4% in December according to seasonally- and workday-adjusted data, reversing most of a sharp 9.3% fall in November.

Output in the building construction segment fell a seasonally and working-day adjusted 12.7% from November, dropping sharply in a monthly comparison for the second month after a rise in October.

December output in the building construction segment dropped 5.6% yr/yr, as the twelve-month fall experienced since February 2008 with the exception of last June continued. Output construction in the segment widened to 12.6% in 2009, after declines of 9.5% both in 2007 and 2008.

Seasonally adjusted output was up 3.7% in a month in last December in the first monthly rise since September. Output dropped, however, a sharp 7.1% yr/yr, declining for the second month after practically steady twelve-month rises between August 2008 and October 2009. The drop came from a high base.

Civil engineering output rose almost double of the 2008 rate of 3.3% in 2009. Following double-digit growth in the middle of the decade, the segment fell 7.2% in 2006 and almost 20% in 2007.

New orders in the construction sector were down 16% in December from the same month a year earlier, following a 21.3% decline in November. Total order stock was up 23.5% from the end of 2009, rising in a twelve-month comparison since April 2009.

December new orders in the building segment fell 1.8% yr/yr, slightly more than in November after a 40% jump in October. New orders arriving in 2009 were 5.4% down in the year after declining by a third in 2008. Total orders held at the end of 2009 by the segment still were up 16%.

New orders in the civil engineering segment were down 26.3% yr/yr after a 36.3% drop in November, reflecting large road, railway and electricity-network construction orders placed late last year. The segment received still almost 10% less orders in the full-year than a year earlier after a 25.6% jump of new orders in 2008. Total order stock still exceeded the year-earlier level by 30.5% at the end of 2009.

Construction sector prices in Q4 2009 up 1.6% from a year earlier and were down 0.1% on Q3. (MTI – Econews)