Euro building industry nears a 17-year low

Julian Harris
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CONSTRUCTION activity across the beleaguered Eurozone sank again in February, recording its second lowest level since 1996.

Figures from Brussels’ Eurostat agency, published yesterday, showed that seasonally-adjusted production in the construction industry fell by 0.8 per cent in the euro area when compared to January’s level.

A year earlier construction had plummeted 7.1 per cent to its lowest level since 1996, although this sudden monthly dip was partly caused by crippling snow storms across the continent at the beginning of the month.

Excluding that one-off fall in February 2012, this February’s result is the worst in 17 years.

The previous month, January, also saw a sharp 2.1 per cent drop in construction across the 17-member single currency area.

“There are no signs of relief so far in 2013 for the beleaguered Eurozone construction sector,” said Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight.

In the wider European Union area, the construction sector is faring better, yet remains weighed down by the Eurozone’s woes. Production in the EU was down 0.4 per cent in February compared to January, the Eurostat figures showed.