Construction industry turns robust again as housing boom returns

If India needed any more proof that it was in the midst of a huge housing boom, it got in this week’ GDP data, heightening expectations that the industry will continue to power the economy for years to come.

The construction sector grew 13.3 per cent in July-September from a year earlier, up from 7.9 per cent in the previous quarter and its best performance in five quarters, the data released on Thursday showed.

That helped India expand at a forecast-beating 7.6 per cent, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies. In contrast, Western economies have been squeezed by high interest rates and energy prices, while China has been hobbled by a debt crisis in its property sector.

The long-awaited boom – which has created lakhs of jobs – comes after about six years of debt and pandemic-induced downturn before the construction sector began improving last year and hitting its stride this year. It has been driven by rising incomes for many Indians, a severe housing shortage in big cities and strong population growth.

The world’s most populous nation had an urban housing shortage of around 1.9 crore units last year – and that is expected to double by 2030, according to government estimates.

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