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Planning Board: Construction activity up 4.7% in fiscal ’11

The public sector commissioned construction projects totaling $2 billion in fiscal 2011. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Construction activity exceeded $3.8 billion in fiscal 2011, which represents a $173.5 million year-over-year increase when compared to the prior 12-month period, Planning Board President Rubén Flores-Marzán said Thursday.

Citing statistics from the agency’s annual Construction Activity Survey, the government official said the 4.7 percent growth “was due mainly to renewable energy projects built in the private sector and the investment by the public sector.”

During a news conference at La Fortaleza, he ventured to say the economic impact of construction projects underway will be “even greater” in fiscal 2012.

“It’s important to note that renewable energy projects have driven private sector construction investments and programs totaling $ 217.8 million in fiscal 2011,” he said, naming as examples the trio of solar and wind energy projects proposed for Santa Isabel and Yabucoa.

Meanwhile, the public sector commissioned construction projects totaling $2 billion in fiscal 2011, up 11 percent from the $1.8 billion in projects approved the prior fiscal year.

Flores-Marzán said the bulk of the government’s projects have concentrated on building schools, transportation systems, roads and infrastructure. The central government alone pumped $565.4 million in projects via several agencies, namely the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.

However, he did acknowledge that private-sector construction projects remained on the decline, totaling $1.8 billion in fiscal 2011, or a 1.6 percent reduction from the prior year’s numbers.

“While we still have much to do for this sector, we see that many of the components of the construction industry are showing positive signs, reflecting that our economy is undoubtedly heading toward a sustained recovery,” he said.

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Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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