Good times to continue for CEE construction market

The good times look set to continue for the construction markets of emerging Europe. According to the Eastern European Construction Forecasting Association (EECFA), around 15 per cent accumulated real growth is forecast for the region as a whole in 2019-2021. The annual pace of growth, however, is seen as gradually decelerating.

Ukraine will see the highest growth, an estimated 6.8 per cent this year, and 7.2 per cent in 2021. A positive trend is the systemic state support for the industry, including more transparent and clearer rules, the simplification of permit processes, and powerful investment support.

Overall, civil engineering is expected to outperform building construction in all countries. Bulgaria, Serbia and Slovenia are increasing their spending in infrastructure, road construction and major large-scale projects now underway in energy and railroads.

Romania’s construction is set to grow by six per cent in 2019, with residential activity to remain one of the main drivers of the market. But talent shortages and higher operating costs could, likewise, limit the growth of the segment.

The report views construction in Croatia as being at a crossroads. An ageing population, continued emigration, rising construction costs and increased international competition for tourists are all factors that will threaten a number of construction sectors unless wise political choices are made.