CE Barometer results for March 2021

By Mike Hayes20 April 2021

A slight levelling off of Europe’s recovery predicted by latest survey responses

The March 2021 barometer survey was completed in the second and third week of April.

The balance figure (the difference between those reporting on improvement or deterioration in conditions between February and March 2021) stands at 28.9%, almost 4% lower than last month’s figure, yet still substantially positive.

That said, the number of respondents reporting better business in March than in February stood at 43%, a notable fall from the previous month’s 48.4%. However, the number reporting a decline in business also fell slightly from the previous month, indicating perhaps a levelling off of sentiment and a sense of tentativeness about this stage of Europe’s recovery.

When looking back to this time last year, respondents are now significantly more buoyant, with 64.9% reporting a better level of business activity. Figures for those reporting the same level of business or a deterioration of activity are both down, with each at just under 18%.

Again, looking ahead, to 12 months from now, the numbers continue to look extremely positive, with 61.4% of respondents predicting a higher level of activity than today. This is slightly down (-2.5%) on last month’s figure. Then again, the number predicting a lower level of business activity is also down (7.9%) compared with the previous month (9%). Clearly, there is a growing number of industry professionals sensing the current level of business will remain steady for the foreseeable future.

The CE Barometer survey is sent out to a broad cross-section of construction industry professionals, including contractors, equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers, surveyors and many others within Europe’s construction supply chain.

The March survey contains responses from professionals in 24 European countries; a broader representation has not been seen on the barometer since October 2018.

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