Europe’s output rises

By Sandy Guthrie24 November 2017

Eu map

Construction output figures for Europe increased in September 2017 compared to September 2016, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

There was a smaller rise for September 2017 compared with the previous month, as seasonally-adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 0.1% in the Eurozone, and showed a decrease of 0.4% in the EU28, according to Eurostat.

Meanwhile, the IHS Markit Eurozone PMI (purchasing managers’ index) suggests that the Eurozone economy generally is showing signs of picking up momentum in the fourth quarter, with multi-year highs seen for all main indicators of output, demand, employment and inflation in November.

IHS Markit found that business activity and prices rose at the steepest rates for over six years, while the largest accumulation of uncompleted work for over a decade encouraged firms to take on staff at a rate not seen for 17 years, it said.

The headline IHS Markit Eurozone PMI rose to 57.5 in November, according to the “flash” estimate (based on approximately 85% of final replies), up from 56.0 in October and its highest since April 2011.

IHS Markit said the latest reading put the economy on course for its best quarter since the start of 2011.

Construction stable

The Eurostat figures showed that in August 2017, production in construction remained stable in the Eurozone, and fell by 0.2 % in the EU28. In September 2017, compared with September 2016, production in construction increased by 3.1% in the Eurozone and by 2.6 % in the EU28.

Eurostat said the increase of 0.1% in production in construction in the Eurozone in September 2017, compared with August 2017, was a result of building construction rising by 0.2%, while civil engineering remained stable. In the EU28, the decrease of 0.4% was because building construction fell by 0.7%, while civil engineering grew by 0.1%.

Among Member States for which data were available, the highest increases in production in construction for the month were recorded in Slovenia, up 4.0 %, and the Netherlands with a rise of 1.1%. The largest decreases were in Romania, down 4.6%, Hungary, down 3.8%, and Slovakia with a fall of 2.4%.

On an annual basis, the Eurozone’s increase of 3.1% in production in construction for September 2017, compared with the same month a year earlier, was a result of building construction rising by 3.7% and civil engineering by 0.9%.

In the EU28, the increase of 2.6% was thanks to building construction rising by 3.2%, and civil engineering by 1.4%.

Among Member States for which data were available, the highest increases in production in construction were recorded in Hungary with growth of 23.8%, Poland up 18.1%, Slovenia with a rise of 7.0%, and Sweden up 6.8%.

Decreases were seen in Romania, where there was a fall of 13.5%, the UK which was down 1.4%, and Belgium, which decreased 0.4%.

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