Construction in decline: the effect of the new cuts to construction bonuses


Emma Potter

In the world of construction, which has benefited greatly from state incentives such as the superbonus in recent years, there has been an important innovation: according to Istat data, in February 2024 there was a 3.9% drop in the production index compared to the previous month.

This decrease, the first since September 2023, raises questions about how recent changes to construction bonuses may affect the sector.

In this article, we will explore the causes of this contraction and discuss possible future directions the construction industry could take in light of changes in government bonuses.

Analysis of the February 2024 Decline

The 3.9% decline in the construction production index in February 2024 was particularly significant as it broke a streak of four consecutive months of growth.

This contraction can largely be attributed to the cuts in building bonuses decided by the government, which have reduced the attractiveness of these incentives. Starting from 2024, the Superbonus has been reduced from 110%/90% to 70%, significantly influencing the decision of investors and builders to start new projects.

Furthermore, decree 39/2024 introduced further restrictions, such as the total block on the transfer of credit and invoice discounts, further limiting financing opportunities through these incentives.

Despite the recent decline, there are still factors that could support the construction sector in the coming months.

One of these is the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr), which provides significant investments in infrastructure and energy improvement projects. These contracts could offset, at least in part, the drop due to the reduction in construction bonuses.

According to Flavio Monosilio, director of the Ance Study Center, despite the end of the super bonus benefits and credit transfers, the Pnrr should help maintain a certain level of activity in the sector, avoiding a real collapse.

Data evaluation and long-term perspectives

Analysis of February 2024 data demonstrates a significant contraction, but it is important to consider that the seasonally adjusted index of construction production is still at relatively high levels.

The official Istat note underlines that, despite the monthly decline, production recorded an increase of 3.6% in the quarterly comparison and an increase of 10.2% on an annual basis. These data indicate that, despite a short-term slowdown, the sector maintains underlying strength thanks to the high levels of activity achieved in the previous months.

Furthermore, the continued increase in the crude index in the first two months of 2024, which shows an increase of 13.6%, and the calendar-adjusted index, which grows by 9.4%, are signs that the sector it may still have the ability to adapt and react positively to new market conditions.


The 3.9% decline in the construction index in February 2024, while it may seem worrying, demonstrates that the sector is not collapsing, but rather in a phase of adapting to new economic and regulatory realities.

With the support of the Pnrr and a solid foundation built in the previous months, the construction sector may be able to navigate through these challenges, maintaining a central role in the Italian economy.