CE Barometer August 2014: Summer slowdown

By Chris Sleight19 August 2014

August saw confidence in the European construction sector remain positive, according to the CE Barometer survey. However, some aspects of sentiment have come off the boil due to the holiday season.

The overall climate of the August survey remained strong, with a positive balance of +22% - an almost identical result to July. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses, minus the number of negative ones, so a figure like +22% for the overall climate is a strong indicator of positive confidence.

However, digging into the data revealed some interesting views about where that market strength comes from. By far the most strongly positive views were about the future, with a balance of +37.3% of respondents saying they expected activity levels to be higher in a year’s time compared to now.

There was also a very clear view that the market had improved compared to a year ago, with +22.9% of respondents saying they were busier this August than 12 months ago.

However, there was a sharp dip in month-to-month work, with a balance of just +5.9% of respondents saying they were busier in August than July. This measure of sentiment has been comfortably above +10% all year, and at times has been as high as +25%.

This may not be anything to worry about. The CE Barometer often shows a fall in activity over the height of summer, and this is usually followed by a rebound in September and October.

This is illustrated by the ‘clock’ diagram, where the strong sentiment about the future, but low current activity levels indicates an upswing on the horizon. The clock only indicates which way the market is heading, and how many people share that view – the length of the arrow is the strength of the sentiment. It does not indicate how big market growth might be.

Take part

The survey, which takes just a one minute to complete, is open to all construction professionals working in Europe. The CE Barometer survey is open from the 1st to the 15th of each month on our website. Full information can be found at www.cebarometer.eu

Click here to read last month's CE Barometer results.

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