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Mild winter results in building boom

The Swiss construction industry has increased by nearly 40% over the past decade Keystone

The Swiss construction industry is rubbing its hands – not with cold but with joy – after posting a record turnover of CHF19.9 billion ($22.7 billion) in 2013, up 4.9% on the previous year.

The Swiss Building Association announced on Wednesday that this made up for a poor 2012, when icy temperatures froze many building sites and turnover shrank by 3.9% on 2011 – the first dip for nine years.

The Swiss construction industry has increased by nearly 40% over the past decade, but this rhythm will not continue.

“We’re nearly at capacity in the main construction trade,” said Silvan Müggler from the Swiss Building Association.

“We certainly won’t be able to maintain the strong growth that we’ve since 2003 over the coming years – there are too few highly qualified construction workers in Switzerland.”

The booming housing sector saw turnover of CHF6.12 billion, up 3.2% on 2012. Civil engineering grew even more, by 6.7%, for turnover of CHF10.4 billion.

“The main reason was the weather,” said the Swiss Building Association. “This was far from always optimal, but significantly better for building than the previous year.”

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