The construction sector suffered most from the economic recession in 2012. Output fell by more than 8 percent, turnover by 7 percent. Civil engineering was the only branch in the sector to perform well last year.
Turnover civil engineering marginally up
Residential and non-residential building was hit hardest by the sustained slump on the property market. In civil engineering, turnover improved in the last three quarters of 2012, mainly due to cable and tube installation projects. They benefited from government incentives under the Crisis and Recovery Act and the laying of (fibre optic) cable connections for internet traffic, telecommunication, etc. The turnover realised by road, railway and tunnel builders was approximately at the same level in 2012 as in 2011.
Turnover construction sector by branch
Fewer building permits issued, fewer orders for new architectural projects
The prospects for new building projects are poor. The value of building permits for new residential and non-residential building projects issued in the first eleven months of 2012 was nearly 29 percent down from the same period in 2011.
Architectural firms also received fewer orders for new construction projects. In the first three quarters of 2012, the value of new orders slumped by 10 percent. The overall value of turnover realised by architectural firms fell by 14 percent in 2012. Turnover generated by architects is now nearly 50 percent below the pre-recession level.
Turnover architectural firms
Rob Hogerbrug and Ron Duijkers