Confidence in the European construction sector took a remarkable turn for the better in February, with the overall climate rising to its highest since before the global financial crisis.

The CE Climate, an overall measure of confidence in the sector, hit a balance figure of +36.4% in February, compared to +17.7% in January. Although it came close to these levels in early 2011, you would have to go back to the autumn of 2007 to see a higher result. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses, minus the number of negative ones.

Sentiment was high across the various measures that make up this composite result. When asked about their activity levels compared to the previous month, a positive balance of +25.3% of respondents said they were busier in February than January. The last time this measure of confidence was at such a peak was February 2011.

Similarly, at a positive balance of +51.5%, the number of respondents saying they expected activity levels to be better in a year’s time than now was remarkably high. You would have to go back to early 2010 to find such high expectations about the future.

The final positive indicator was the positive balance of +32.2% of respondents who said they were busier this February than a year ago. Again, it was early 2011 when the sector last saw such a number of people reporting year-on-year growth.

This of course all augers well for the coming months, and with a string of good and improving results for the CE Barometer survey since August last year, the indications are that a reasonable recovery has taken root.

However, there is still a need for some caution. Results of the February survey are often quite high, as part of the industry’s seasonality. In many parts of Europe it is a month when construction gets going again following the depths of winter. Future month’s CE Barometer results should give a clearer picture of the strength of the 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 www.cebarometer.eu

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

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