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No overall growth for European construction 'until 2014'

The construction industry in Europe is set to remain in a period of stagnation until at least 2014, new research has forecast. This is according to figures from Euroconstruct, which has been forced to downgrade its projections for the sector due to the impact of the economic crisis in the eurozone. Previously, the organisation has forecast the industry would see growth of -0.3 per cent this year and 1.8 per cent in 2013, but these figures have been revised to -2.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. The downgraded estimates come amid fears that Greece will default on its debts and exit the single currency, although the success of pro-bailout parties in this week's elections in the country may ease these worries if they are able to successfully form a coalition government. Euroconstruct stated civil engineering is set to be the worst performing segment of the industry in the next three years, dragging down the overall figures. It estimates this area will see an average decline of 1.4 per cent until 2014, compared with smaller falls of 0.9 per cent for the non-residential sector and 0.4 per cent for residential building. The organisation also observed that a north-south divide continues to be seen in the European property market, with the northern region seeing better overall performance than the south of the continent. While only two nations - Denmark and Norway - are expected to see average annual growth of over two per cent between 2012 and 2014, nine territories, including the UK, France and Germany, will see modest improvements of between 0.1 per cent and two per cent. However, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are still in a period of "deep recession" in their construction industries as a result of the difficult economic conditions that have hit these countries. In the UK, experts have warned construction output is likely to continue falling for another 18 months after the Office for National Statistics recorded a decline of nine per cent year on year in April. 

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