Sentiment softens

18 March 2008

The Results Of August's CE Barometer survey gave further evidence that the industry is seeing a slowdown in activity over the summer months. Levels of activity were lower compared to the previous few months, the peak having been seen in April.

However, sentiment remained strong across the industry, and the overall climate for construction in Europe remains markedly up-beat.

Asked about the current level of activity compared to a month ago, a balance of +16,8% of respondents said they were busier in August than July. Although still positive, this was down from +19,3% the previous month, and it was the fourth month in a row that the figure for current activity has fallen.

This balance is calculated by subtracting the number of respondents who said activity was worse from the number who said it was better. This could mean that activity levels in the construction industry are slowing, or it could just reflect a seasonal lull due to the summer holiday period.

Respondents in August were a little less positive about the industry's future outlook than they were in July. However, the balance figure stood at +46,2% - not as strong as many of the results for earlier in the year, but still very firmly in positive territory.

General sentiment has clearly softened since the high point in April, but all the indicators given by the survey remain very much in positive territory. The fact that sentiment about the future is still much stronger than the current position indicates that survey respondents think the current construction boom is still yet to peak.

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