Output in the construction sector grew by 33.3 percent year-on-year in the month of March 2017, the highest growth rate in 12 years, while in the first quarter of the year the sector saw output increase of some 25 percent, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said, commenting on the latest relevant data released by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH). As the Minister noted, data on both construction sector output and the number of newly built homes show the favourable effect of the Government’s housing measures.

In his analysis, Mihály Varga pointed out that the sector’s output grew not only in year-on-year terms, but also in comparison to the previous month: the sector expanded by 3.4 percent from February to March.  Compared to the same period in the previous year, output increased in both main categories: by 48.8 percent concerning the building of civil engineering works and by 30.2% in the construction of buildings, he said.

Mihály Varga noted it was mainly the result of the Family Housing Allowance that the number of building permits issued increased two-and-a-half times in 2016, and some 10 000 new dwellings were built last year. In line with prior expectations, the number of building permits issued continued to rise in the first quarter of 2017, gaining some 89 percent year-on-year, while the number of dwellings put to use was up by 47 percent. The Ministry expects that 15-16 thousand new dwellings may be built this year, giving additional stimulus to the construction sector, he concluded.

Besides these outstanding data, the stock of orders also showed robust growth: it increased 81.3 percent year-on-year, Mihály Varga said. This improvement, he added, was in line with the expectations laid down in the Convergence Programme for 2017-2021. With the acceleration of EU fund inflows, construction sector recovery is seen to be persistent, while planned state projects are also expected to boost the sector’s output.

(Ministry for National Economy)