Tuesday 16 January 2018

Euro construction drops, led by Spain, Portugal

Simone Meier

European construction output decreased in April, led by declines in Spain and Portugal.

Construction in the 16-nation euro region dropped 0.3pc from March, when it jumped a revised 6.5pc, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today.

From a year earlier, April output fell 6.1pc after dropping 6pc in March.

Builders across Europe have been hit by the collapse in property markets from Ireland to Spain.

Standard & Poor’s economist Jean-Michel Six said on June 1 that the European housing market remains overvalued, with the possibility of a “second dip.”

He said he remains “fairly pessimistic” on the home market in Spain, where the collapse of a decade-long housing boom has sparked an almost two-year recession.

Construction in Spain fell 4.9pc in April from the previous month, today’s report showed.

Portugal’s output declined 3.7pc, while construction in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, increased 2.6pc in April. France saw a 2.2pc drop in its construction output.

Vinci SA, the world’s largest builder, said last month that “harsh” weather in the US and Europe caused a 6.8pc drop in first-quarter sales.

The euro was little changed against the dollar after the data, trading at $1.2333 at 10:05am in London, up 0.2pc on the day.

The March increase in euro-area construction was revised to 6.5pc from the 7.6pc estimate reported last month. That was the biggest gain in 14 years.

For the EU as a whole, construction was flat in April compared with the prior month and fell 4.3pc from a year earlier.


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