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Construction volumes decreased by 2% in Estonia in H1

BC, Tallinn, 19.10.2020.Print version
Construction volumes declined 2% in Estonia and 8% in the European Union during the first half of the year, writes LETA/BNS, according to Statistics Estonia.

"The development of the construction sector has been rapid in all of EU, facilitated by the introduction of new materials and technologies and efficient use of structural funds. Construction volumes have been growing for the past five years; however, the emergency situation has made some adjustments in this field, too" Merike Sinisaar, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said.

Sinisaar added that during the first half of the year, a 3.4-percent decline occurred in the EU in the construction of buildings and a 1.5-% decline in the construction of facilities; the respective figures in the second quarter were 12.8% and 9.4%. 

The last time a comparable decline was observed was at the start of 2009 when the European construction market was going through its deepest crisis, she added. At the time, construction volumes decreased by one-tenth in yearly comparison.

Sinisaar pointed out that while an increase was still observed in construction volumes in most EU member states in the first quarter, the figure was only positive in six states in the second quarter -- 10.4% in Romania, 5.8% in Denmark, 2.4% in Finland, 1.3% in Malta, 0.9% in Germany and 0.2% in Croatia.

Construction volumes dropped the most in Ireland, 36.1%, France, 31.3%, and Spain, 23.5%, the analyst said.

The situation was direst in the construction market in April due to anti-coronavirus measures directly starting to hinder construction works, she added. "The European construction market dropped to the lowest level registered since 1995," she said.

This did not apply to Estonia's neighboring states' construction markets in the first quarter, however, due to the virus reaching Northern Europe with a delay, Sinisaar said.

Construction volumes grew during the first quarter in nearly all of Estonia's neighboring states -- 14.8% in Latvia and 9.6% in Lithuania. "The number of buildings and facilities constructed gre; Sweden was the only one to register a decline in volumes," the analyst added. "In the second quarter, a change was observed and construction volumes decreased in nearly all states, most of all in Estonia at 8.4%. Finland was the only one to see its volumes grow," she noted.

The number of both buildings and facilities constructed declined in Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden. "The Estonian construction market was above all affected by a drop in the construction of buildings, the construction volumes of facilities continued to grow slightly. The construction of both buildings and facilities increased in Finland, however," Sinisaar said. 

"Major effects of crises generally reach the construction sector with a delay. We will soon see how the construction sector fared during the third quarter," she concluded.

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