In sharp contrast to the gloomy picture painted by some of the country's largest construction companies, SA’s building sector appears to be improving, according to the latest Afrimat Construction Index. The index tracks the level of activity in the building and construction sectors. Economist Roelof Botha, who is the author of the index, says the construction industry’s activity levels improved 3.7% in the third quarter, compared with the preceding period. Botha said this reflected the recovery of the level of activity in the South African construction sector, with all of the eight constituent indicators recording gains over the second quarter. The constituent indicators include employment, salaries and wages, retail trade sales, buildings completed, building materials, construction value added and building plans passed. The index has improved by 17.6% since the first quarter of 2011, compared to an 11.2% increase inGDP over the same period. Botha said the problems experienced by a ...

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