18th February 2022
Production in the construction sector in the eurozone dropped 4% in December 2021 compared to November, according to first estimates from Eurostat. In the whole of the European Union (EU), construction output was off 3.1% on a monthly basis, the statistical office of the bloc said on Friday (Feb. 18).
Compared to December 2020, production in construction decreased by 3.9% in the Eurozone and by 1.8% in the EU. The annual average production in construction for the year 2021, compared with 2020, was up by 5.2% in the euro area and by 4.8% in the EU.
Monthly comparison by construction sector and by Member State
In the eurozone in December 2021, compared with November 2021, building construction decreased by 4.5% and civil engineering by 1.9%. In the EU, building construction decreased by 3.6% and civil engineering by 1.3%. Among Member States for which data are available, the largest monthly decreases in production in construction were recorded in Austria (-8.1%), Germany (-7.3%) and France (-7.0%). The highest increases were observed in Hungary (+7.2%), Sweden (+4.6%) and Belgium (+3.2%).
Annual comparison by construction sector and by Member State
In the eurozone in December 2021, compared with December 2020, building construction decreased by 4.6%, while civil engineering increased by 0.7%. In the EU building construction decreased by 2.1%, while civil engineering increased by 1.7%. Among Member States for which data are available, the largest annual decreases in production in construction were observed in Germany (-13.6%), Slovenia (-6.4%) and Austria (-4.3%). The highest increases were recorded in Hungary (+29.0%), Italy (+19.3%) and Sweden (+9.6%)
U.S. new residential construction
Across the Atlantic, the U.S. Commerce Department released a report on Thursday (Feb. 18) showing residential construction pulled back sharply last month. Housing starts tumbled by 4.1% to an annual rate of 1.638 million in January after inching up by 0.3% to a revised rate of 1.708 million in December.
On the bright side, building permits-an indicator of future housing demand-increased by 0.7% to an annual rate of 1.899 million in January after spiking by 9.8% to a revised rate of 1.885 million in December.