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New construction data shows ongoing Eurozone volatility

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Flat Eurozone construction data has masked volatility across the continent

Figures published by EU statistical office Eurostat this week showed that production was up 0.1 per cent in May across the 17 countries using the euro.

However, there were huge variations in the data – with Slovenia down 17 per cent from April, while Portugal was up 4 per cent.

The figures also come against historically low output figures in April. Year-on-year comparisons revealed an 8 per cent drop across the eurozone.

Spain continued to suffer in May, with output down 3 per cent against April, and 25 per cent against May 2011.

Germany continued to prosper, with a 3 per cent rise from April and an impressive 2 per cent hike on May 2011 – the only year-on-year output increase.

Broadway Malyan chairman Stuart Rough told AJ he did not expect a turnaround in the eurozone for at least two years.

‘Our Lisbon and Madrid offices have been kept really busy with work in Latin America,’ he said. ‘The opportunities here are far reduced and will be for some time.’

There is a reasonable amount of refurbishment work across Spain and Portugal, particularly for retail clients, but not a large volume of new build work, Rough added.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said output was about 25 per cent below end-of-2006 levels.

The body last week warned that more than 850,000 construction jobs could be lost across the eurozone during 2012 and 2013.

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