Construction sector down in third quarter

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Latvia's costruction output decreased by more than a fifth in the third quarter of 2016, according to official data released November 11.

Compared to the corresponding period of 2015, in the third quarter of 2016 construction output decreased by 22%, according to calendar adjusted data at constant prices from the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB).

"The drop was influenced by the slower absorption of EU funds," the CSB said.

Construction production output at current prices accounted for 456.1 million euros.

Resulting from a 9.1% decline in construction of non-residential buildings and 3.4% drop in construction of residential buildings, the construction of buildings fell by 5.1%.

Compared to the third quarter of the previous year, in the 3rd quarter of 2016, output in construction of civil engineering structures reduced by 35.6 %.

"The decline was influenced by the reduction in construction of highways, streets, roads, airfield runways, railways – of 30.5%, as well as decrease in construction of harbors, waterways, dams and other water works – of 39.4%," the CSB said.

One niche bucking the trend was construction of bridges and tunnels, which increased by 49.6% in the third quarter.

In the third quarter 552 building permits were granted for the construction, capital repairs, reconstruction and restoration of single dwelling buildings. Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2015, the number is by 86 permits fewer. 

In turn, 39 building permits were granted for construction of industrial buildings and warehouses - 48 building permits fewer compared to the third quarter of 2015.

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