File Image: IOL

CAPE TOWN  – The Afrimat Construction Index (ACI) fell 4.7 percent for the fourth quarter of 2018 showing the sector has yet to recover poor activity levels of a decade.

“When compared to the same quarter a year ago, five of the eight constituent indicators remained in the red, with substantial declines in the value of building plans passed and completed, as well as the volume of building materials produced” economist Roelof Botha said in a statement yesterday.

The ACI is a composite index of the level of activity in the building and construction sectors. Botha said the general economic recovery in the last quarter of 2018 was not sufficient to lift the index to a higher level than a year earlier.

“It is clear the South African construction sector has been under-performing since the end of the recession in 2009,” he said.

Real gross domestic product increased by 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 on a year-on-year basis, but the value added by the construction sector declined by the same margin during this period – a clear indication of the stressful conditions being experienced, the statement said.