Palma.—The financial crisis, the lack of investment by the struggling banks and a decline in the demand for planning permission in the private sector complicated the construction industry's situation more than ever last year.

According to data supplied by the Balearic College of Architects, last year the number of applications for planning permission to build new properties fell by nearly 32 percent in Majorca alone while across the Balearics the decrease was 22.3 percent.

And, it is not only the private sector where construction activity is continuing to dry up, the public sector is also very quiet with local authorities desperately trying to reduce their public debt and deficit.

The Director General of the Balearic Association of Constructors, Manuel Gomez, said the principal reasons are the further contraction of the economy in Spain and the Balearics, the sharp increase in unemployment and the lack of consumer confidence. “Then, in the case of Majorca, add to that that public sector construction has all but dried up and private developments have been forced to stop work due to a lack of financial funding,” he added.

He also warned that the crisis in the construction industry has yet to bottom out. “Throughout the whole of last year, jobs continued to be lost and, despite forecasts at the start of the year that the situation would bottom out and begin to improve come the close of 2012, that didn't happen. “We're still deep in recession and there are few signs of any kind of improvement this year,” Gomez said.


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