ECONOMY

Crisis continues in construction sector

The crisis in the local construction sector continued unabated in the first half of the year, as a report by the Association of Greek Contracting Companies (SATE) showed that 15 enterprises had ceased operations in this period. This means that from 2004, the year of the Olympic Games, until the present, a total of over 130 enterprises, or 18.7 percent of the total, have gone out of business. As a result, there are 579 companies operating today from the 712 at the end of 2004. In the same period, the projects tendered that exceeded 2 million euros each showed a 12.1 percent decline from the same months in 2009, but the decline compared with 2005 and 2006 comes to 50.2 percent and 49.4 percent respectively. There is, however, a positive angle to the data, as is true in the category of smaller projects, for those with a budget above 100 million euros, there has been a rise of 68.9 percent compared with the first six months of 2009, which is likely to benefit the smaller enterprises in the sector. Total employment in the sector has decreased by 7.4 percent from a year earlier, while the public works index has dropped by 22.4 percent from last year.