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Japanese construction work booms

Japanese construction orders soared by more than a third in April 2012, official data has revealed

Government figures this week showed that spending on building work in the country amounted to 3.1 trillion Yen (£24.6 billion) in April 2012.

This was 37 per cent higher than the figure for the same month a year earlier as the recovery in the sector continued.

Spending on public sector prime projects was up 29 per cent to 436bn Yen, while orders for major private schemes were up 41 per cent to 1.7trn Yen.

Construction orders received by the top 50 contractors increased 16 per cent year-on-year to April.

However, work on site remained stable, with separate figures showing 10.9 million sq m of building starts in April 2012 – up less than 1 per cent year-on-year.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said rebuilding after the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 had kickstarted the industry.

But it sounded a note of caution.

‘It remains to be seen whether the upward trend in activity levels can be sustained as demand gradually weakens and downside risks to the global growth outlook intensify,’ said RICS economist Andy Wu.

‘We believe Japan will likely revert to a more moderate growth outlook in the near term as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the eurozone debt crisis and a continuing strong yen.’

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