Construction sector aims to top 3% growth in 2018

Thursday, 08 February 2018 17:55
Construction sector aims to top 3% growth in 2018 © Belga
The construction sector should experience stronger growth this year, with the increase in its volume of work moving up from over 2% in 2017 to more than 3% in 2018, the Construction confederation said on Thursday at its annual press conference.
"All indicators are in the green for private companies and this is the time to build or renovate,” said Robert de Mûelenaere, the confederation’s managing director.

Belgium is experiencing a boom and many favourable factors augur a positive future for the sector, according to statistics from the Construction Confederation. In 2017, business confidence reached a “historic high”, exceeding the average for the past 10 years.

“The year 2018 is also starting well; the order books are full,” de Mûelenaere said. Companies are currently sure of at least 5.9 months of activity on average, as against 5.6 months last year and 5.5 two years ago.

The upturn has led to a boom in construction jobs, after the loss of about 20,000 employees between 2011 and 2015. Between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2017, some 1,900 jobs were created, 800 of them going to direct employees and 1,100 to independent contractors.

However, bankruptcies involving construction firms increased, moving from 1,578 in 2016 to 1,752 last year.

Registration dues reform applied in Wallonia and Brussels since the start of this year will also offer families “a greater financial margin”, added de Mûelenaere. "We believe the freed-up margins can be used to finance energy renovation works,” he said.

Jason Bennett
The Brussels Times
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