The South American Construction / Infrastructure / Commercial Construction markets will experience moderate growth in the 1st half of 2017. Commercial & office related type construction is active throughout South America. Shopping mall(s), apartments, warehouses, water supply / disposal, office developments, housing & light manufacturing facilities have & will continue to be built in major & mid-sized cities in Argentina, Chile, Central America (Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala & Nicaragua), Colombia & Mexico; look for this trend to continue in 2017. The Venezuelan economic situation becomes more & more disastrous as we move into the 1st half of 2017, the question is how long can this continue? Fidel Castro died in late November, will his passing have any impact on “Socialist” type counties such as Bolivia, Venezuela & Nicaragua?
South America’s construction sectors continue to struggle with restrained demand for EPC services. Brazil, Argentina & Venezuela continue to find 2017 to be a challenging year; they are all in a recession. The other major countries, i.e. Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru & the Central American nations will all see restrained GDP growth in the 2nd half of 2017, ranging between 2.1% to 2.8%. The recent expansion of the Panama Canal will be a big plus for South America economies & their construction sectors. Argentina is experiencing a slow adjustment to the new elected government’s policies.
Brazil is currently experiencing a slowdown in its construction sector, unemployment in the Brazilian construction sector is 12% which is historically very high for Brazil. The change in leadership will not put a quick fix of Brazil’s economy & construction sector. The recession is expected to continue throughout 2017. GDP is forecast to grow in the discouraging 0.6% to 0.8% range in the 2nd half of 2017.