January 10, 2018 / 8:49 AM / 5 months ago

Steep rise in German construction bodes well for 2017 growth

BERLIN, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Revenues in Germany’s construction industry rose in the first 10 months of 2017 and orders remained high, data showed on Wednesday, boosting hopes that a broad-based upswing in Europe’s biggest economy is set to continue.

From January to October, turnover in the main construction industry jumped by 5.6 percent compared with the first 10 months of 2016, the Federal Statistics Office said. It rose by 4.5 percent year-on-year in October.

“Orders in construction are also very high, so we expect this positive trend to continue,” a spokesman from the statistics office said.

Home building has become a key driver of economic expansion in Germany as a growing population, increased job security and record-low borrowing costs drive up demand for real estate.

Higher state spending on roads, bridges and social housing, partly to accommodate an influx of more than one million refugees since 2015, is giving construction additional support.

On Thursday, the Statistics Office will publish full-year gross domestic product figures for 2017, which are forecast to show 2.4 percent growth. That would be the strongest growth in six years.

Some analysts expect the economy to do even better after data showed on Tuesday that industrial production recorded its biggest monthly increase in more than eight years.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Larry King

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