The second quarter of 2024 saw significant dynamism in the extractive industries, construction, and commerce sectors, each contributing to the overall economic expansion.

Extractive industries surge with 15.6% growth

The value added by extractive industries increased by 15.6% in the second quarter of 2024, compared to the same period last year. This surge was fueled by a marked increase in the export sales of non-metallic minerals and boosted by a rise in demand from local processing industries. Global demand for agricultural fertilizers remained strong, supported by favorable production conditions anticipated in several regions, including Southeast Asia, India, and Brazil, following the transition from El Niño to La Niña in 2024. While international grain and oilseed prices remained above pre-2022 levels, fertilizer prices saw a downward adjustment, encouraging more extensive use, particularly in North America, which experienced a notably active spring season.

Construction sector rebounds with public works

Construction activities continued their recovery, driven by public works projects, showing a 3% increase in the second quarter of 2024, up from 2.5% in the first quarter. The building sector also improved, with a rebound in housing production and a 20% rise in cement sales, supported by ongoing housing acquisition assistance programs and a recovery in credit for real estate developers. Recent business surveys by the HCP confirmed this favorable trend, indicating higher activity levels anticipated by entrepreneurs in both building and public works, with order books at historically high levels.

Manufacturing industries recover

Manufacturing industries also experienced a more robust growth rate in the second quarter of 2024, with value added increasing by 3.5% annually, up from 2.1% in the first quarter. The chemical sector and construction-related industries were the main drivers of this acceleration. Additionally, increased external sales of metallurgical products and a boost in the production of electronic and optical items contributed to the manufacturing sector’s resurgence. However, the automotive industry continued to face supply chain challenges and weak demand in the European market. According to the HCP’s second-quarter survey, supply shortages were a significant constraint for automotive entrepreneurs, with French car sales in Europe losing ground to Chinese electric vehicles, especially in April and June 2024.

Tertiary sector benefits from increased domestic demand

The tertiary sector, which accounts for more than half of economic activity, benefited from the resurgence in domestic demand. The wholesale trade survey showed an improvement in the seasonally adjusted opinion on sales volumes excluding agricultural products and the financial situation of wholesalers, with order expectations rising by 11.8 points. Business-related services also saw positive growth, with a 3.9% increase in the second quarter of 2024, aligning with the improvement in industrial production. Additionally, transport and accommodation activities gained momentum, boosted by the coincidence of foreign and national religious holidays (Easter, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha).