Private building activity up in Aug, sentiment improves

Greece building activity up in August

Greece's private building activity rose nearly 10% in August, in terms of volume, maintaining a six month positive run, data from the country's statistics service showed Monday.

In August, the number of private buildings permits issued reached 856, amounting to volume of 977.6 thousand cubic meters, 9.5% higher than last year, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said in a statement.

Greece's construction business is trying to recover for an eight year economic downturn that wiped out more than a quarter of the country's economy but tight bank lending is weighing on prospects in the sector.

For the eight month period, private building activity showed a 19.4% increase in volume, in comparison with the same period a year earlier.

August 2017 August 2016 Y/Y CHANGE (pct)

  • Volume (m3 '000) 977.6 893.1 9.5%

  • Surface (m2 '000) 192.4 201 -4.3%

  • Building permits 856 904 -5.3%

source ELSTAT

This increase is in line with a spike in sentiment in the sector, as shown by the latest index published by Greek think tank IOBE.

Earlier this month, IOBE said that expectations in private construction in October improved from September, rising to 88.4 units from 74 units. Despite the improving mood for private building activity, expectations for public works are worsening amidst spending cuts aimed at meeting Greece's austerity targets.