German construction industry expecting 5 % growth in 2017

The German building sector is radiating optimism for the 2017 construction season. We are anticipating 5 % growth in revenues. That will up the construction-business turnover to € 112.2 bln, i.e., to a higher level than at any point in the last twenty years. Our optimism is based on the current unfilled-order volume, which reached nearly € 37 bln in late September 2016, the highest since 1995. Not to forget the positive macroeconomic circumstances we have just now. Like last year, then, we are presuming that all construction segments will expand in 2017, though not all at the same pace, of course. Employment in the main construction trades will increase by 10 000 jobs, hence mirroring the positive trend“, stated the presidents of the Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie (central federation of the German construction industry), Dipl.-Ing. Peter Hübner, and of the Zentralverband des Deutschen Bauge-werbes (central association of the German construction industry), Dr.-Ing. Hans-Hartwig Loewenstein.

In Hübner‘s and Loewenstein‘s view, „The housing sector will see 7 % growth in revenues and serve as the sector‘s main driver. With regard to housing completions, however, we will still be lagging well behind the predicted needs. If we include conversion projects, the overall number of completed residential dwelling units probably came to between 280 000 and 290 000 last year. This year, we are expecting the increase to range between 310 000 and 320 000 units. That will fall distinctly short of the minimum requirement of 350 000 units.“

Continuing, Hübner and Loewenstein note: “Public-sector construction expanded by 5 % last year. That was the highest growth rate since 2011. Despite a few untoward circumstances, we also see a growth scenario ahead for commercial construction. We think 3 % growth should be possible there, making that sector the one with the lowest anticipated growth rate. In 2016, new factory and workshop construction registered the most positive figures of all, with building permits up by more than 25 %.“

Across the German construction sector, the labour pool is nearly dry. At 28 000, the average number of skilled building workers without jobs hit a new historic low in 2016. Indeed, the lack of skilled workers poses the greatest risk for the relevant companies‘ further progress.

Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie e.V.


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