The South American construction / Infrastructure / Commercial Construction markets will experience moderate growth in 2nd 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. Look for this trend to continue in 2017. The Venezuela economic situation becomes more & more disastrous as we move into the 2nd half of 2017, the question is: how long can this continue?
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 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.
Construction activity in Brazil has been lackluster over the last three to four years, following significant political turmoil and a lasting business downturn. 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 0.5% to 0.7% range in the 2nd half of 2017.