The New Year started with a hint of optimism about the future for the European construction industry. Sentiment about the future was at its highest since August 2011, although results of the CE Barometer survey showed that current activity was still falling.
With a positive balance of +25.8%, respondents to the January CE Barometer survey were as up-beat as they have been in over a year about prospects for the industry in 12 months’ time. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses, minus the number of negative ones.
However, data about activity levels in January compared to the previous month were still in negative territory at -15.1%. Results from previous CE Barometer surveys for this measure of confidence show that month-on-month activity has been falling since July 2012.
It is not unusual for results on month-on-month activity levels to dip into the red over the winter months, as bad weather can have a big impact on construction projects. However, the long trend of negative results points to a more significant downturn in the industry.
In fact, despite the negative result, there may be some cause for optimism in the January figures. The CE Climate, an overall measure of construction activity, came in at just -0.4%. Although this is still negative, it is the best this broad measure of sentiment has been for six months.
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