Budapest, May 11 (MTI) – Output of Hungary’s construction sector rose by 33.3 percent annually in March, climbing at the fastest rate in years, data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) on Thursday show.
KSH noted that the jump came on a low base. In the base period, output plunged by 34.6 percent annually.
Output of the building segment was up by 30.2 percent during the period. Output of the civil engineering segment soared by 48.8 percent.
In a month-on-month comparison, output rose by a seasonally- and workday-adjusted 3.4 percent.
In the first quarter, output was up by 4.0 percent on an annual scale.
In absolute terms, construction sector output reached 170.1 billion forints (EUR 547.7m) in March, at current prices.
Speaking at an award ceremony for successful entrepreneurs, Economy Minister Mihály Varga said that the construction industry is “skyrocketing”. The sector can become a force to propel Hungarian GDP growth above the 4 percent mark, Varga said.
Construction is a significant factor in economic growth this year, analysts say. András Horváth of Takarékbank expects a 19.4 percent growth for 2017. Cordia CEO Tibor Foldi said that shortage of capacity is an obstacle to the industry reaching its full potential. If the government committed itself to keeping the VAT on the sector at 5 percent after 2019, contractors would not be pressured to finish all assignments by the end of that year, he said.