German Construction May Rise 3.8% in 2012, ZDB Trade Group Says

Construction in Germany is likely to increase 3.8 percent in 2012, with stronger demand for new apartments making up for weaker government orders, Germany’s largest builders’ trade group said.

The industry is expected to charge 6.7 percent more for apartment construction than it did last year and 4.1 percent more for commercial projects, the Zentralverband Deutsches Baugewerbe, or ZDB, said in a statement today. Revenue from government projects was forecast to remain unchanged.

“Construction companies are seeing a hopeful start to the year,” ZDB President Hans-Hartwig Loewenstein said in prepared remarks for a press conference today.

Low unemployment, cheap financing and rising incomes are boosting demand for new homes, Loewenstein said. Orders are also being buoyed by investors seeking safety amid Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.

The ZDB’s 35,000 members account for about 70 percent of German construction revenue.

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