Oct. 16, 2012
-- Construction activity contracted in most counties in Southeast Europe in the first half of 2012, continuing a trend from 2011 as the ongoing instability in the eurozone, the major market for the region’s exports, is forcing developers to delay new construction projects. The outlook for the sector remains gloomy as the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone is denting demand for eastern European exports, leading to a fall in investments. Increased public spending on infrastructure last year helped the construction sector somewhat offset the decline of commercial and residential building activity but funds for large infrastructure projects this year have been cut, following government’s efforts to reduce fiscal deficits by scaling down expenses.
Data from Eurostat showed that construction output in the European Union countries decreased by 6% y/y and by 1.2% q/q in the second quarter of 2012. Of the three EU member states included in this report, Slovenia and Bulgaria witnessed a drop in construction output, while production in Romania grew at its fastest annual rate in more than a year.