Sentiment on the European construction industry edged further towards an upturn in February, although there was a drop-off in the strength of the sentiment.
A balance of 29,6% of respondents said activity fell month-to-month compared to January - a slight improvement on the previous month's results. The figure is calculated as the percentage of respondents giving positive responses, minus the number giving negative answers. February was the ninth consecutive month of declines in current activity.
However, for the second month in a row there was a marked improvement in future sentiment, with a balance of -1,6% being recorded. Although still negative, this was a marked improvement on results throughout the third quarter of 2008, and as a result, the arrow of CE's barometer swung closer to the upswing segment.
But while the direction f the arrow pointed to a more rewarding part of the cycle, the strength of sentiment was lower, as represented by the length of the arrow. This reflects the fine balance of views on the future outlook.
Again this month it was strinking how many repsondents said activity was lower compared to a year ago. A balance of -61,7% of said activity was lower in February 2009 than a year previously, especially given that back in February 2008 a balance of +24,2% of respondents said they thought activity would be higher in 12 months' time (ie now).
CE would like to thank all those that took part in the February survey. It was completed by more than 300 construction professionals in 26 countries around the region.
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.