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Construction starts down in first quarter

While the construction sector has seen an increase in the total number of permits issued during the first quarter of 2018, overall construction starts are down, according to the most recent information compiled by the Department of Statistics.

Data from the Construction Statistics Report indicated that the number of permits issued for construction starts during the first quarter of the year totaled 341, with a value of $149 million.

This was 58 units higher than the total permits issued in the first quarter of 2017, which held a value of $94 million.

“The commercial/industrial sector increased by almost $20 million. The private/residential sector increased by approximately $33 million and the public sector increased by $2 million,” the report reveals.

The report also notes that the number of construction starts in The Bahamas as a whole during the first three months of the year totaled 97 – five fewer than the amount recorded for the first quarter of 2017. New Providence saw 59 starts, 55 of which were private or residential projects and four of which were commercial projects; while Grand Bahama saw a total of 38 construction starts, 28 of which were private or residential and 10 of which were commercial projects.

“The value decreased by approximately $36 million. The private/residential sector had an increase of approximately $2 million,” the report states.

“The commercial/industry sector had a decrease of $10 million. There were no public sector starts for this corresponding period.”

There was a marginal increase in construction completions during this time period, which saw a total of 143 completions valued, one unit more than the 142 recorded during the same time in 2017. The value of those completions reflected a much larger difference, with completions during the first quarter of 2018

valued at $105 million, compared to the value of $50 million in 2017.

In the Central Bank’s Monthly Economic and Financial Developments Report for June 2018, the bank cited foreign investment-funded projects as the most significant driver of construction sector output.

Paige McCartney

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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