Construction activity is experiencing favorable developments

Construction activity is experiencing favorable developments
Construction activity is experiencing favorable developments

Construction activity has recorded generally favorable developments, says the Directorate of Studies and Financial Forecasts (DEPF), under the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.

Outstanding real estate loans up 0.6% at the end of the first two months of 2024, according to the DEPF

According to the DEPF, “the added value of the construction sector returned to growth for the second consecutive quarter after successive declines in its added value, recorded since the first quarter of 2022”.

Indeed, she said, after analysis of data relating to the sector, it appears that the VA increased by 0.5% in the third quarter of 2023, then by 2.4% in the fourth quarter of the same past year.

It is important to emphasize that “these positive developments have made it possible to attenuate the decline on average in the added value of this sector at the end of 2023 (-0.8% after a withdrawal of 3.5% one year previously)”, as noted by the DEPF in its economic report for April 2024 (No. 326).

Cement sales show a slight decline in Q1 2024

According to the document made public recently, cement sales, the main barometer of activity in the construction sector, showed a slight decline (-0.4%) at the end of the first quarter of 2024.

The same Source attributes this development, on the one hand, to the increase of 7.5% recorded during the first two months of this quarter and, on the other hand, to the decrease of 14% during the month of March 2024 during which construction sites were stopped due, in particular, to the significant rainfall recorded during this month.

The decline observed during the month of March “concerned all delivery segments, with the exception of infrastructure, whose deliveries strengthened by 10.7%,” said the DEPF.

In its note, however, it ensures that despite the poor performance recorded in March, “the infrastructure, ready-mixed concrete and prefabricated segments closed the first quarter of 2024 with performances of +41%, + 10.3% and +1.1% respectively.”

As a reminder, in its note last March (No. 325), the DEPF reported a generally favorable trend in construction activity in the second month of 2024, noting a performance in cement sales of +8 .5% during this month, after +6.6% a month earlier and a drop of 10.7% in February 2023.

In its note, it also indicated an increase in cement sales of 7.5% at the end of the first two months of 2024, instead of a decline of 8.4% a year earlier. The DEPF then explained this improvement, in particular, by the good dynamics of deliveries in the ready-mixed concrete segments (+18.3%), infrastructure (+61%), distribution (+1, 3%) and precast (+5.8%), as well as the new mortar segment, introduced from January 2024, which contributed 7% to the total increase in cement sales at the end of February 2024.

Regarding the financing of real estate operations, recent data show that outstanding real estate loans increased by 0.6% at the end of the first two months of 2024, after having shown an increase 2.4% a year earlier. It thus reached 302.1 billion dirhams during this period.

For the Department of Studies and Financial Forecasts, “this development is due to the increase in outstanding housing loans by 1.6% which reached 243.8 billion dirhams, despite the decline in the “outstanding real estate development loans by 1.1%,” she concluded.

For comparison, in its previous note, the Management revealed that “the outstanding housing loans reached 244.1 billion dirhams at the end of January 2024, after 239.6 billion a year earlier, i.e. increase of 1.9%. This, she specified, taking into account the 1.1% increase in real estate development loans, the overall outstanding real estate loans increased by 0.7% at the end of January 2024 to exceed 302.2 billions of dirhams.

Alain Bouithy

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