Planning approvals down 22pc over 5 months to end May

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If the construction sector were a Stuka bomber, where would it be in the dive?
If the construction sector were a Stuka bomber, where would it be in the dive?

Planning approvals continue their collapse, but at least the dive shows signs of bottoming out.

Planning approvals over 5 months to the end of May fell 21.8% compared to the same period last year, according to the latest figures from the Government. In total there were 40,000 planning approvals by the end of May this year.

A fall of 22% sounds bad, but in the context of the collapse in residential building it contains a seed of good news, or at least that is how the majority of the Spanish press are choosing to interpret it (bad economic news is so boring!).

The good news is that the bad news today isn’t as bad as the bad news yesterday. A fall of just 22% is positively rosy compared to the stomach-churning nosedive of 58% last year, and 36% as recently as January this year.

One way to look at it is if the Spanish construction sector were a Stuka bomber, it would be just about to release its bomb. Just hope the pilot then manages to pull out of the dive and head back up.

Meanwhile, refurbishments are up, but not enough to even scratch the surface of the residential construction sector’s woes. They rose 11% to 13,600 refurb licences compared to the first 5 months of last year. Nice work if you can get it, but it still leaves more than a million construction sector workers looking for a job.

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