CE Barometer March 2014: Optimism endures

By Chris Sleight25 March 2014

Following a sharp jump up in February, confidence in the European construction sector stayed at a high level in March, according to the latest CE Barometer survey results.

February saw confidence in the sector hit its highest levels since the start of the global financial crisis, with the CE Climate, a broad measure of sentiment, reach a balance figure of +36.4%. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses, minus the number of negative ones.

In March that figure fell back to a balance of +28.8%, but this was still better than the CE Climate from mid-2011 through to the start of this year.

Sentiment was well into positive territory across the various measures CE asks survey respondents to comment on. Most striking was the balance of +43.8% of respondents who said they expected business to be better in a year’s time compared to today. Again, this was down from the figure of +51.5% seen in February, but still a forthright and positive result.

In terms of month-to-month activity, a positive balance of +24.7% of respondents said activity was higher in March than the previous month, a similar result to that seen in February. And looking back, a balance of +18.0% of respondents said they were busier now than a year ago.

The positive results seen in March build on the sharp rise seen in February, and help to reinforce the view that this represents a genuine recovery, rather than a one-off blip. In some senses, it is surprising how unequivocally strong the CE Barometer results have been in the face of weak European GDP growth, so there may be reasons to be cautious. But for now, the CE Barometer points to a robust recovery.

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

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

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