In line with a host of other key indicators, the construction sector is exhibiting a swift return to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity.
During the 4th quarter of 2020, all nine of the constituent indicators included in the Afrimat Construction Index (ACI) recorded impressive gains from the lows that were experienced during the “lockdown” quarter (April to June 2020).
The overall ACI recorded a level of 111.3 at the end of last year, which is 11% higher than the base period (1st quarter of 2011) and an impressive 60% higher than in the 2nd quarter of 2020. The index is now virtually on the same level as during the beginning of 2018.
Following the rather predictable rebound in the 3rd quarter (from the very low base induced by the Covid-19 pandemic), it is particularly encouraging that two-thirds of the ACI’s constituent indicators managed to sustain the recovery by recording positive growth in the 4th quarter.
Booming hardware sales
The two stand-out performers in construction-related activity are retail and wholesale trade sales of hardware, paint, and building materials, who have gained 72% and 91%, respectively, since the 2nd quarter of last year (in real terms).
Another encouraging feature of the recent recovery of construction sector activity is the impressive rebound in the value of building plans passed by the larger municipalities, despite several of them still functioning with limited staff.