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Construction sector output falls 7.2 percent in April

The output of Hungary's construction sector fell by an annual 7.2 percent in April, after growing by 4.3 percent in the previous month, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.

The April decline came from a low base as the country was in pandemic lockdown in the same period of 2020.

Output of the buildings segment edged down by 0.8 percent, while civil engineering output dropped by 14.5 percent.

In monthly comparison, seasonally and workday-adjusted output fell by 7.3 percent.

In absolute terms, construction sector output came to 329.9 billion forints (EUR 943.5m) for the month. The building segment accounted for close to 59 percent of the total.

Order stock in the construction sector was 12.8 percent higher at the end of April than twelve months earlier. Buildings segment orders were up 22.9 percent and civil engineering orders increased by 6.7 percent.

New orders fell by 15.3 percent during the period, as new orders in the buildings segment dropped by 21.0 percent and new civil engineering orders were down 9.9 percent.

In January-April, construction sector output fell by 3.5 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Analysts commenting on the data said the April performance was “disappointing”, adding, at the same time, that the order stock gave cause to hope for slow growth in the next period.

K and H lead analyst David Nemeth said that although the volume of new orders fell in April, the overall order stock grew. Inftrastructure funding flowing in from state and European Union coffers may increase the sector’s momentum, he said.

Andras Horvath of Takarekbank said the sector will have to contend with growing prices and interruptions in the supply chain, without raising its own prices. Strong demand and government support will hopefully boost growth, he said. The sector’s prospects are better than last year, he added.

Gabor Regos of the Szazadveg Institute said the April figures were worse than expected. Thanks to the resources at hand, the sector’s performance is likely to grow on the long term, Regos added.

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