Brazil construction industry sees faster recovery, leads job creation

BRASILIA, July 26 (Reuters) - Brazil’s construction industry has revised its growth forecast with a faster recovery outlook for this year despite the coronavirus pandemic that will keep activity well below capacity, its lobby CBIC said on Monday.

Civil construction growth this year is forecast at 4%, up from the previous estimate of 2.5% in April, the CBIC, thanks to continued low interest rates and consistent demand.

June growth was above the historical average for the month, the lobby said, although it added that the industry was operating at only 64% of its capacity and the high cost and shortage of construction material was the main problem facing the sector.

With Brazil facing record unemployment levels due to the pandemic, the construction industry is creating more jobs than other sectors, according to the CAGED register of hirings and dismissals.

From January through May, the construction industry hired 156,693 workers, a 7% increase over the same period last year.

The Economy Ministry said on July 14 that Brazil’s overall GDP is expected to grow 5.3% in 2021, significantly higher than a previous forecast of 3.5%, as the country continues to recover from the pandemic. The economy contracted 4.1% in 2020. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Sandra Maler)