The value of construction output in Hong Kong for 2012 reached HK$159.6 billion, its best performance since 1998, as the industry continues to fire on all cylinders.
According to latest provisional figures from Census and Statistics Department last week, output in the industry topped HK$45.4 billion in nominal terms during the last quarter of 2012.
This represents an increase of 16.5 percent compared with the final figure of HK$39 billion for the third quarter and a 23.9 percent increase compared with a year ago.
It is also the highest quarterly performance according to government statistics dating back to 1983.
The last peak for construction output was in 1998 when contractors completed HK$133.3 billion worth of work.
The output figures include work done on public sector sites, private sites and locations other than construction sites.
Output in the public sector in 2012 was HK$53.4 billion, up 26.9 percent year on year and representing the best annual output since the last peak in year 2000 at the height of construction for the West Rail.
In the private sector output surged by 37.5 percent to HK$48.5 billion representing the best annual output since 1998 when the government had a target of supplying 85,000 private and public housing units.
The private sector total includes work carried out by the MTRC (0066) and the Airport Authority.
The construction industry, already feeling the pinch from manpower shortages, is being asked to maintain this high output.
According to the government’s budget announcement last month, estimated spending for public works would be maintained at about HK$70 billion annually for the next few years compared with annual expenditure of HK$40 billion for the previous five years.
Projects forecast to start work in the new financial year starting next month include the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link and infrastructure works at Kai Tak development and various government facilities such as police stations and hospitals.
In addition, the government announced last month that it had abandoned the much-criticized application list system for land sales and re-adopted the previous system of regular land sales to be held by tender.
Currently the MTRC is busy building five rail links to expand its network including the West Island Line and the Express Rail Link.