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Construction sector expects 10 % production decrease

PRODUCTION by the construction sector could fall by 10 percent this year but even if this expectation is fulfilled, it will not be a disaster and the current structure of the sector could be maintained, said the president of the Slovak Association of Construction Entrepreneurs (ZSPS), Ján Majerský. The negative outlook for 2009 follows an extraordinarily good year in 2008.

PRODUCTION by the construction sector could fall by 10 percent this year but even if this expectation is fulfilled, it will not be a disaster and the current structure of the sector could be maintained, said the president of the Slovak Association of Construction Entrepreneurs (ZSPS), Ján Majerský. The negative outlook for 2009 follows an extraordinarily good year in 2008.

“Slovak construction was successful again in 2008, even though we didn’t count on such a high growth,” Majerský said.

The production by the construction sector grew surprisingly in 2008 to €6.303 billion, which meant a growth rate of 11.9 percent year-on-year. Repair, maintenance and construction of new buildings recorded the highest growth, at over 25 percent. The growth of the engineering structures sector slowed by 3 percent in 2008 but still recorded a year-on-year increase of 23 percent, the press release from ZSPS reads.

“We expect a significant increase in the volume of construction production in this segment in 2009 and 2010 if the PPP projects are realized,” Majerský said. A decrease is expected in the residential buildings segment, especially among those with private investments.

The impacts of the economic crisis on the Slovak construction sector show up with a slight delay, due to the nature of the business. But the outlook for the second half of 2009 already anticipates a lack of orders for the construction companies.

“Construction entrepreneurs want in any case to maintain the employment rate and will try to look for savings elsewhere, in labour productivity and other costs,” Majerský said.

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