Civil construction costs increased 0.99% in August, according to the National System of Research on Civil Construction Costs and Indexes (Sinapi), by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). This is the lowest level in the monthly series since August 2020. The indicator represents a drop of almost 50% compared to the increase registered in July this year, when the index was 1.89%.
Although the number is positive, the slowdown in growth points to a scenario of uncertainties that, according to the coordinator of Construction Projects at the Brazilian Institute of Economics of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (Ibre/FGV), Ana Castelo, requires caution in the face of the current water crisis and high inflation.
“The peak moment seems to have passed. July was the worst month in a year, but the scenario is still too unpredictable to talk about the behavior of the next indexes. The water and energy crisis can affect the index, especially for materials industries that are energy-intensive (which demand a lot of electricity). There is a slowdown but, due to still very high inflation, a scenario of many uncertainties is created”, explains Castelo.
In the last 12 months, the rate was 22.74% and already represents the highest in the historical series, started in July 2013. In the accumulated result for this year, from January to August, the index was 14.61%. Sinapi measures the variation of costs in the sector.
According to the IBGE, the August index was heavily impacted by the slowdown in construction materials, with no special emphasis on any product, and less influence from labor.
The national cost of construction per square meter, which in July had closed at R$ 1,448.78, rose to R$ 1,463.11 in August. Of this amount, BRL 866.89 are related to materials and BRL 596.22 to labor.
The biggest increase was registered in the South of the country, which had the biggest regional variation with 1.71%. The smallest was in the Southeast, with 0.68%. The other regions presented the following results: 0.90% (North), 1.03% (Northeast), and 1.23% (Midwest).
Among the states, Santa Catarina had the highest monthly change (3.65%), followed by Ceará (2.05%). According to Augusto Oliveira, manager of Sinapi, the numbers were pulled by the impact of the readjustment in the workforce provided for in a collective convention.
“In the case of labor, there were collective bargaining in Santa Catarina and Ceará, states that had the highest rates in the country. All other states showed variations close to 1%”, says the IBGE specialist.