Spanish construction restarted on 13 April after a strict lockdown to contain the coronavirus, but data released by the Spanish statistical office show a steep fall of 29.9% in output in the second quarter (Q2) of this year compared to Q2 2019.
Responding to the release, analytics company GlobalData predicted that industry output for the whole of 2020 would contract by 10.4% relative to last year.
But it warned that the shrinkage could be greater as a new surge of Covid-19 threatens a second wave and more lockdowns.
In late May the number of daily new cases in Spain fell from April peaks of more than 7,000 to several hundreds, where it stayed throughout June and the first half of July.
However, the number has risen sharply in recent days, with 2,953 new cases reported yesterday, in an intensification of the new trend. That figure includes cumulative new cases detected by antibody tests.
Construction output contracted by 24% between Q1 and Q2 this year owing to lockdown measures imposed in April and May.
Employment in Spanish construction fell in Q2, with the number of total hours worked falling by 20% on Q2 2019.
"GlobalData forecasts that construction output will contract by 10.4% in Spain in 2020, with the steep contraction in Q2 2020 being partially offset by the general improvement in economic conditions coupled with the easing of the lockdown measures in the second half of the year," said GlobalData economist Moustafa Ali.
"However, there are downside risks to the prospect of a solid recovery in the second half, particularly with the recent spike in cases across the country and the prospect of a lockdown."
Image: La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona (Caleb Pudewell/Unsplash)