Annual Volume of Construction Works Continues to Grow

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According to the preliminary data from Croatian Bureau of Statistics, in this year’s April the index of the volume of construction works is diminished for 1.3% in comparison with March, while there is 1.0% growth in comparison with the last year’s April (seasonal and calendar adjusted data). On the annual level, the growth is present in all this year’s months, while in April it was the smallest. The explanation is relatively high downturn on other edifices (5.7% in April) as the result of low activity of the public sector in the projects of infrastructure. On the other hand, the volume of construction activities on the buildings is continuously growing in the last six months, thus the growth of 8.7% was marked in April, in comparison with the same month of the previous year. Therefore, when taking into account the type of edifices, the share of works on the buildings (which was 47.4% in April) remains high in the structure of hours spent on the building sites, with the increase in the share of work on the new buildings, which reached 56.1%.

To summarize, in the first four months of this year, in comparison with the same period of the previous year, construction works volume is increased 2.8%, while works on the buildings were increased 9.2% and the volume is decreased 3.0% on the rest of the edifices.

According to data currently available for 16 countries, the growth of construction works in the EU during the April was 0.4% on the monthly level, and the downturn of 1.5% on the annual level. The annual downturn was marked in ten countries and the growth in six countries, including Croatia. The strongest downturns were marked in Slovenia (-31.2%), Hungary (-29.8%), Poland /-15.9%) and Czech Republic (-15.2%), while the highest growth was marked in Romania (+12.8%), Sweden (+8.7%) and in Netherlands (+6.2%). Similarly to the situation in Croatia – in the last four months EU has faced a lot more issues in construction activities on other edifices, rather than on the buildings. Generally speaking, almost all the Middle and Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia), with the exception of Romania and Croatia, marked the downturn in construction activities during the April, which can partly be caused by the decreased inflow from the EU funds.

The situation in construction works at the beginning of this year was quite satisfying compared to the situation at the beginning of the previous year. The important characteristic is the growth of the physical volume of the construction works, growth of the value of completed construction works, growth in the number of building permits as well as growth in gross added value of construction. The sustainability of this growth has not yet been secured, which is signalled by the downturn of the predicted value of the works contained by the building permits, as well as the downturn of the value of the new orders. Therefore, for the achievement of growth stabilization, we still lack a strong investment activity of both private and public sector, with the activation of larger infrastructure projects, where there is a possibility of using available EU funds.

Zvonimir Savić, Director of the Financial Institutions, Business Information and Economic Analyses Sector: “April was the month of continued growth of the construction activities volume on the annual level, but with somewhat slower dynamics, due to the smaller number of works on the infrastructure facilities. Therefore, the continuation of positive trends in this industry depends on intensifying investment activities of both private and public sector, where the role of using EU funds effectively is extremely important.”