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EU construction activity: growth in all subsectors in beginning 2017

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Good beginning of the year for the UE construction activity. The first quarter of 2017 marked by growth in all subsectors.

 

Comparing data for the first quarter of 2016 and 2017,  production in the EU construction sector grew by over 2%. This growth was more visible in the EU building construction subsector (almost +3%) than in the case of civil engineering works (+1%). At the same time, the number of m2 of useful floor area in buildings which obtained permits in EU countries increased by 12%, which means that this indicator is almost 1% higher than at the end of 2016. This positive trend was observed both in residential and non-residential buildings, including office space.

 

1. Production in the EU construction sector

 

In the first quarter of 2017, production in the EU construction sector was over 2% higher than a year ago (Figure 1). Comparing data for the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, the largest increase of the production volume in the EU construction sector was achieved in Estonia (+29%), Ireland (+23%), Hungary (+19%) and Malta (+18%), while the most significant decline was recorded in Luxembourg (-7%), Romania (-6%), Slovakia (-5%) and Belgium (-3%).

 

1.1 Subsector: building construction

 

At the beginning of 2017, production in the EU building construction subsector was almost 3% higher than in the first quarter of 2016 (Figure 2). It means that the growth of production in the building construction is slightly higher than in the case of a whole sector. The largest increase of the production volume in this subsector was achieved in Ireland (+32%), Hungary (+23%), Romania (+21%) and Cyprus (+21%). At the same time, the largest decline in the production was recorded in Slovakia (-8%), Spain (-5%), Greece (-5%) and Belgium (-3%).

 

1.2 Subsector: civil engineering works

 

Production related to the EU civil engineering works in the first quarter of 2017 was 1% higher than a year ago (Figure 2). Comparing data for the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, the largest increase of the production volume in this subsector was achieved in Estonia (+32%), Greece (+15%), Spain (+12%) and Finland (+9%), while the most significant decline was recorded in Romania (-18%), Bulgaria  (-11%), Slovakia (-7%) and Czech Republic (-7%).

 

2. Building permits

 

In the first quarter of 2017, the number of m2 of useful floor area in buildings which obtained permits in EU countries was 12% higher than a year ago (Figure 3), while the growth between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 was lower by 4%. At the beginning of 2017, the largest increase was achieved in Estonia (+95%), Malta (+83%), Hungary (+73%) and Lithuania (+45%). The largest decline was recorded in Belgium (-23%), Denmark (-15%), Luxembourg (-12%) and Latvia (-10%).

 

2.1 Residential buildings

 

The number of m2 of useful floor area in EU residential buildings which obtained permits in the first quarter of 2017 was 17% more than a year ago (Figure 4), which means that the growth in this subsector is significantly higher than in the case of a whole sector. The largest increase in the number of m2 of useful floor area in the EU residential buildings which got permits was achieved in Malta (+161%), Hungary (+122%), Latvia (+62%) and Estonia (+50%). At the same time, the largest decline was recorded in Belgium (-26%), Germany (-14%), Austria (-6%) and Denmark (-4%).

 

2.2 Non-residential buildings (except office buildings)

 

In the case of EU other non-residential buildings (except office buildings), the number of m2 of useful floor area which obtained permits in the first quarter of 2017 was 6% higher than a year ago (Figure 4). It is worth noting that this is the only subsector which did not achieve the rate of growth observed in a whole building construction sector. Moreover, the difference between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 is lower by 2% than the growth between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. At the beginning of 2017, the largest increase in the number of m2 of useful floor area in the EU non-residential buildings (except office buildings) which got permits was achieved in Estonia (+121%), Bulgaria (+69%), Malta (+58%) and Slovakia (+47%). At the same time, the most significant decline was identified in Luxembourg (-90%), Latvia (-30%), Belgium (-28%) and Ireland (-15%).

 

2.3 Office buildings

 

In the first quarter of 2017, the number of m2 in EU office buildings which obtained permits was 14% higher than a year ago (Figure 4). Comparing data for the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, the largest increase in the number of m2 of useful floor area was achieved in Sweden (+243%), Hungary (+202%), Malta (+113%) and Poland (+68%). At the same time, the largest decline was recorded in Latvia (-788%), Ireland (-137%), Romania (-108%) and Estonia (-92%).

 

Source: ASM – Market Research and Analysis Centre Ltd. based on EUROSTAT