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Construction spending in Europe slumps

July 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

BRUSSELS, July 18 (UPI) -- Construction spending held even month-to-month, but dropped sharply year-to-year in May, the European Union's statistical office Eurostat said Wednesday.

Spending rose 0.1 percent compared to April in the 17-member eurozone, the countries that share the euro as currency, and 1.6 percent in the 27-member European Union, the data office said.

Compared to May 2011, however, spending fell 8.4 percent in the eurozone and 6.9 percent in the EU, Eurostat said.

Construction outlays fell furthest in Slovenia, Hungary and Spain -- down 17.5 percent, 4.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, on a month-to-month basis.

On a month-to-month basis, construction spending rose the sharpest in Britain, Romania and Portugal, up 6.3 percent, 5 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

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