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Sunday, January 21, 2018, 

After dropping by 30% in 2017, construction sector expected to stabilize next year

After dropping by 30% in 2017, construction sector expected to stabilize next year

Skopje, 30 December 2017 (MIA) - The construction sector in Macedonia in the past eight months has dropped by nearly 30%. The authorities believe it is due to less and less construction works on highways as a result of mistakes on routes, whereas the chambers of commerce point the finger at the lengthy transfer of power, decrease in the number of public procurements in construction and the heavy workload in the past several years.

Even though the value of contracts concluded in construction is higher than last year, a major drop has been registered in the country in terms of construction works completed in Macedonia. Also abroad, the number of contracts has been reduced, according to Andrea Serafimovski, president of the association of construction at the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.

Statistics show that in the first nine months of 2017, 2,345 construction permits have been issued - a decrease of two per cent compared to the same period last year. The value of construction contracts from January to September is estimated at MKD 75 billion - a 5% increase compared to the same period in 2016. However, the number of completed construction works dropped by 21.2%. The number of contracts concluded abroad also dropped by 16%. There is also a reduction of concluded works by 39% compared to the same period in 2016.

The sector of construction currently employs close to 52,000 workers. Average salary of construction workers is estimated at MKD 21,451 (approximately EUR 350).

The protracted political crisis and the extended transfer of power are pinpointed as the main reason contributing the construction sector to experience a drop.

"The consequences of the political crisis, we were warning about, are being felt to a large extent in construction. These consequences are not to be taken lightly because construction in the past several years has been considered the main driving force of the Macedonian economy and the main trigger of a rising GDP growth," said Serafimovski.

Given the projected budget for 2018 and investments, he added, we hope that next year will be better for construction after the political situation in Macedonia is stabilized. ba/15:57

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