Construction market growth stable

  • 2003-06-05
  • TBT staff

The tempo and volume of construction works in Estonia in the first quarter of 2003 has increased by 1.5 percent compared with the end of 2002, which is seen as positive development in the country's construction industry, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Anu Hallik-Jurgenstein, spokeswoman for the ministry, said that the volume of construction works has grown 7 percent compared with the first quarter of 2002.

"We now see very positive development, especially given that in 2002 the construction market was on a significant rise," she said.

Hallik-Jurgenstein said the growth was shared by residential, retail and industrial construction sectors.

However, for companies working abroad the picture was bleaker. The volume of contruction on foreign soil decreased due to fewer infrastructure-related projects.

"In all, the first quarter of 2003 was successful for construction companies working in Estonia. The next quarter will bring an increase in residential area construction because last year we issued a record number of construction permits for that sector," she said.

Nonresidential construction works may also liven up because of road construction, added Hallik-Jurgenstein.

The deal on one of the largest construction projects of the last several year was closed in mid-May between the construction company Merko and Port of Tallinn. The 760 million kroon (48 million euro) coal terminal will be the largest investment for the port and the biggest project for Merko ever.

According to the Estonian Statistics Board, the overall volume of construction works in the fourth quarter of 2002 was 6.59 billion kroons (421 million euros). The residential and non residential area built in the fourth quarter 2002 totaled 47,000 square meters and 144,600 square meters, respectively.

Estonian construction companies feel confident about their prospects for this year, according to the Estonian Institute of Economic Research, which rated the attitude of the real sector companies (construction, industry, retail) as "mid-optimistic" in April 2003.