Construction confidence weak despite pick up in economy

Construction confidence weak despite strong end to year

Greece’s economy is expected to grow strongly in the last quarter of the year, reflecting improved business confidence in the country, but sentiment in the construction sector remains a weak spot, said National Bank of Greece in a report Wednesday.

The report said that data suggests the Greek economy will expand by above 2% in the last three months of the year, helping growth reach 1.6% for the year – in line with the official government forecast.

Greece’s economy has shrunk more than 20 percent in the country’s crisis but growth in tourism and an uptick in business activity is helping put the economy back on a recovery path. The latest data from Greece’s statistics office shows that the economy expanded in the third quarter of the year by 1.6%. Although this number was weaker than expected, it is the first time in eleven years that gross domestic product expanded for three consecutive quarters.

Despite the improving economy , sentiment in the construction business remains downbeat.

“Non-residential construction is showing signs of improvement, despite weaker-than-expected public investment activity in the first ten months of the year,” said the report. “In this regard, building permits issuance accelerated (16.8% y-o-y, in volume terms, in 9M:2017) but construction confidence still remains the weakest spot in business sentiment surveys,” it added.