Euro builders see slowdown over summer

ACTIVITY in the Eurozone’s construction industry slowed down in July, rising by only 0.3 per cent after a stronger second quarter.

In April, May and June, production in the sector grew by between 0.8 and one per cent per month, adding to the growth that dragged the currency union out of its recession.

Construction production is still over five per cent below its 2010 level, and much further from its pre-crisis peak. In the 12 months to July, the industry contracted 1.2 per cent.

Weak trade figures for the euro area in July were released this week, and a sharp fall in industrial production was registered the day before, adding to suggestions that any recovery will be fragile. A Standard & Poor’s report released yesterday said: “The slump may have played itself out, the next act --stabilisation -- appears to be taking the stage. But what everyone is waiting for is the third act, recovery.”