The construction industry in Argentina contracted 7.5% last April, the eighth consecutive month, with an overall drop of 10.3% in the first four months of the year. According to the country's stats office Indec, the Indicator of Construction Activity, during April fell 0.3% from March.
A poll among builders and the industry shows that recession is expected to continue between May and July.
For companies in the private sector, 54% of those interviewed anticipated that activity will continue to fall during the coming months, and among those companies with government contracts the negative feeling reached 57.1%
Only 6% of those working for the private sector and 4.8% for the public sector said they expect a pickup in activity while the rest believe the current level will remain stagnant.
Those who anticipate diminishing activity mainly blame the overall recession, lack of credit, and demanded price stability and the reopening of the mortgage lending, points out Indec.
However construction permits for private undertakings in the sixty most active and representative boroughs of Argentina increased 16.2% during April on an annual basis, and 36.5% over the previous month.
As to inputs for the construction industry during the month of April on an annual basis, they all suffered a decrease: floors and wall coverings, down 22.5%; sanitary artifacts, 16.8%; mosaics 16.3%; plaster walling, 15.4%; bricks, 8.4%; asphalt, 7.7%; paints, 6.7%; iron, steel and cement, 6%.
But despite the discouraging outlook, government sources said the industry will soon bounce back given the increase in construction permits in the private sector, which normally anticipates an overall rebound with six months anticipation.