German building activity shrinks for 3rd mth

BERLIN - Activity in Germany's building sector shrank for a third consecutive month in May, dragged down by the biggest drop in incoming orders in more than three years, a survey of construction firms showed on Thursday.

By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 5 Jun 2008, 9:45 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:07 PM

NTC Research's seasonally adjusted construction index, based on a monthly survey of around 220 firms, registered 45.6 after 43.4 in April -- remaining well below the level of 50 that separates contraction from expansion.

A gauge of incoming orders fell to 37.6 from 38.5 in April.

"Partly responsible for this, according to those surveyed, was a dearth of tenders amid the economic slowdown, as a consequence of which firms landed significantly fewer new orders than in the previous month," NTC said in a statement.

"The miserable orders situation made for further pessimism about the business outlook for the coming 12 months," NTC added.

An index on business expectations registered 48.4 after 48.0 in April, remaining in contraction territory.

Housing construction and civil engineering both contracted in May, the survey showed, while commercial construction posted a slight expansion in activity.

Economists attributed a first quarter surge in German gross domestic product (GDP) partly to unusually strong building activity thanks to a mild winter. The economy expanded by 1.5 percent on the quarter in the January-March period.

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