EU predicts more bad news for building sector

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Investment in the Spanish construction industry is expected to plummet by as much as 10 percent by 2009.

10 December 2007

MADRID - Investment in the Spanish construction industry may fall 1.2 percent next year and is expected to plummet by as much as 10 percent by 2009, according to a new report released by the European Commission.

The data, which was compiled through estimates drawn together by Spanish construction observatory Seopan, contrasts with the sector's projected growth figures of 3.5 percent this year and 6.4 percent in 2006. Last year also saw housing prices rise by nearly 10 percent.

The slump in new home construction is to be the key factor in the industry's stagnation, the EC said. Spain's housing market will only grow 1.3 percent next year - substantially less than the 4.4 percent originally predicted by industry analysts. Other areas of the construction sector, however, will continue to show growth fluctuating between 4 percent and 3.8 percent between next year and 2009.

EU market trends
Spain, Ireland and Portugal will be the EU's three big losers in growth in the housing market while Romania, Poland, Lithuania and Slovenia are expected to continue to see rises - albeit smaller ones - in the same sector, the EC said.

Construction industry growth in Romania, which rose 29.5 percent this year, will drop to about 21.5 percent in 2008. Poland, which reported 20-percent growth in 2007, is expected to see about a 10-percent rise next year. Slovenia, the only country showing construction growth in the euro zone, will close the year up 16.7 percent.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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