Budapest, July 15 (MTI) – Hungary’s construction sector output fell by an annual 26.6 percent in May, falling sharply for the fifth month in a row, data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Friday showed.
The pace of the output decline slowed somewhat from 29.8 percent in April and 33.9 percent in March, but the construction sector is still going through its toughest period since 2012.
KSH attributed the May drop to the high base and projects that wound up at the end of last year, the deadline for spending grants available during the previous European Union funding cycle. Output of the buildings segment was down by 4.4 percent and civil engineering output dived by 43.8 percent.
In absolute terms, construction sector output reached 141.9 billion forints (EUR 452.3m) in May.
In a month-on-month comparison, construction sector output edged up by 0.8 percent in May, adjusted for seasonal and workday effects after rising by 2.0 percent in April.
In absolute terms sectoral output was 544.9 billion forints in January-May.
Analyst Péter Virovácz of ING Bank noted that, in spite of the continued substantial twelve-month output decline, there are promising signs in the sector such as the month-on-month output growth and the increase in the volume of new orders.
László Balogh of real estate portal ingatlan.com also said the volume of orders in the building segment suggests that the construction sector could start growing in the coming months. He added that the sector’s structure is changing and the buildings segment, which includes housing construction, could play a bigger part in the future.