Portugal Fourth-Quarter New Building Permits Decline 44%: AECOPS

Portuguese construction companies are suffering from record-low demand for new projects after their order book fell 44 percent in the last quarter of 2012 from the same period a year earlier.

“The unprecedented drop in demand in 2012 is considered by businessmen to be one of the main factors hampering activity” in the sector, Portugal’s Association of Public Works and Construction, or AECOPS, said in a statement today.

The slump in the country’s building sector has hurt cement consumption, which dropped 27 percent last year to the lowest level since 1973, AECOPS said. Unemployment in the sector rose 34 percent in the eleven months through November, it said.