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Greece’s March Construction Activity Declines 44% Year-on-Year

Greek public and private building activity, measured by the number of permits issued, was almost 44 percent lower in March than a year earlier, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said.

The number of permits fell 43.9 percent to 2,747. The surface area of planned buildings dropped 45 percent to 471,900 square meters and their volume fell 40 percent to 1.7 million cubic meters, the agency said today in an e-mailed statement.

Building slowed most in the western Macedonia region of northern Greece and in the southern region of Peloponnisos. In Athens and its metropolitan area, construction dropped almost 40 percent. Private building activity in the country as a whole was down 44 percent.

Greece’s property crisis will last for another two or three years, according to 56 percent of Greek real-estate agents. The figure is contained in a July 4 report by the Athens University of Economics and Business.

Austerity measures the government agreed to last year in return for 110 billion euros ($157 billion) of emergency loans have deepened Greece’s recession, as unemployment has risen and people have bought less. Last month, parliament approved further budget cuts to obtain more financial aid.

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