Building by public sector falls
Construction work undertaken by the public sector slumped 17.9 per cent in the third quarter to $9.7 billion, according to figures released by the Census and Statistics Department yesterday.
A Government spokesman said the fall was mainly due to the winding down of most of the projects under the Airport Core Programme.
The decline in public sector construction, measured year on year, was a severe 25 per cent when measured by constant 1990 prices.
The Quarterly Survey of Construction Output showed the fall in public sector construction in the quarter was balanced out by a strong rise in private sector activity.
The value of overall construction work performed by top contractors rose 7.5 per cent to $31.2 billion in the third quarter, compared with the year before.
When measured in constant market prices, the total value of construction work still decreased by 2.8 per cent.
The value of private sector construction work rose 37 per cent to $13.2 billion in the quarter, or 22 per cent when measured by constant 1990 market prices.
The Government spokesman said this reflected the strong increase in construction output on residential building projects in that quarter.
Analysed by end use, residential building projects accounted for the largest portion of construction work performed in the period.
Gross value of construction work undertaken for these projects was $8.6 billion, a 29 per cent increase over the third quarter of 1996.
Transport projects, including the new airport and related infrastructural projects, were the second-largest category of construction site work.
The value of construction work performed for these projects dropped 19.9 per cent to $5.3 billion when compared with the same period the year before.
Commercial building projects constituted the third-largest category of construction site work, with a gross value of $4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 40 per cent.
Compared with the second quarter of 1997, the gross value of construction work, performed by main contractors in the third quarter, fell by 3.7 per cent.