PRAGUE. FEBRUARY 16. INTERFAX CENTRAL EUROPE - Czech construction output increased by 0.6% year-on-year (y/y) in 2008, while seasonally-adjusted building output decreased by 0.5% month-on-month (m/m) in December and shed by 2.6% y/y in real terms, the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) said on Monday.
"The planning and building control authorities granted 9,104 building permits, up by 2.8% year-on-year," the CSU said. "The approximate value of permitted constructions decreased by 28.6% year-on-year and reached CZK 26.0 bln."
Analysts said the drop in construction output came as no surprise and is another signal the economy is slowing.
"Behind the [relatively] favorable results for construction as usual are civil engineering projects, while construction of commercial buildings continues to drop," CSOB analyst Petr Dufek said, adding that the sector will increasingly rely on EU and state funds for projects.
Separately, the CSU announced that in the fourth quarter of 2008, 9,686 dwellings were started (-19.1% y/y), 12,397 were completed (-30.4%) and 176,120 dwellings were under construction (+3.0%).
Last year 43,531 dwellings were started (-0.6%) and 38,383 dwellings completed (-7.8%), the statistical office said. The most marked decreases were observed for flats in tenement houses, down by 44.7%.