ECONOMY

Construction activity rebounds, rises 19 percent

Greek construction activity, measured by the number of new building permits, rose 19.1 percent year-on-year in March, rebounding after a 15.1-percent drop in February, according to figures released by the National Statistical Service (NSS) yesterday. Despite the pickup in March, building activity declined 8.1 percent in the first three months of the year, reflecting the slowdown of Greece’s economy. Investment activity in the construction sector accounts for approximately 7 percent of the country’s annual economic output and the sector employs some 400,000 people, according to government figures. A report issued by the country’s largest lender, National Bank, earlier this week said it expects residential housing construction activity to recover in the second half of next year, supported by an environment of low interest rates and a moderate decline in prices.