Budapest, January 15 (MTI) – Output of Hungary’s construction sector fell by an annual 0.2 percent in November 2015, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Friday.

The decrease followed a 7.8 percent fall in the preceding month.

Output of the buildings segment rose by 10.2 percent in November but output of the civil engineering segment slumped by 8 percent.

In absolute terms, construction sector output came to 212.28 billion forints (EUR 674.4m).

In a seasonally and workday-adjusted month-on-month comparison, construction sector output was up by 3.6 percent.

Order stock of construction sector companies was down by 45.7 percent at the end of November compared to twelve months earlier.

New orders signed during the month rose by 14.7percent as new orders in the buildings segment jumped by 50.1 percent but new orders in the civil engineering segment were down by 11.9 percent.

The increase in new building construction contracts is due to orders for sports facilities, educational institutions and industrial buildings, KSH said.

In January-November, construction output rose by 2.8 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

Commenting on the data, Laszlo Koji, head of industry association EVOSZ, said falling volume of order stocks in previous months had already foreshadowed the drop in construction sector output. Based on current statistics, sectoral output stagnated in 2015, in absolute terms it was around 2.1 trillion forints for the year, the same as in 2014, he said.

Andras Balatoni of ING also said that the drop in output in November was not unexpected because of the earlier decrease in order stocks. He said sectoral output in the first half of 2016 will not be too strong, noting that it might even decrease, but from the third quarter output could again start growing.

Economy ministry state secretary Istvan Lepsenyi said the government expects the construction industry to keep up with the increased demand that will stem from the government’s new home-building subsidies for families. He said the construction sector would have to adapt to the expected rise in demand by improving efficiency, embracing more modern construction techniques and hiring and training new workers. Answering a question, he said the sector would have to double the number of new homes built per year to reach the rate of new home construction in neighbouring countries.


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