The CE Barometer slumped in July, perhaps as a symptom of the normal seasonal slowdown seen over the summer, or perhaps as an indication of a more fundamental weakening for the sector. However, although sentiment was weak, it still indicated a positive outlook.
A balance of just +0,8% of respondents said that month-on-month activity rose in July, down sharply from the +15,0% seen in June, and the results around the +20% to +30% mark seen from February to April.
However, sentiment was still up-beat as far as the future outlook was concerned. A positive balance of +22,1% of respondents said they expected to be busier in a year's time - a figure that reflects strong confidence, but at the same time, was down from the levels of around +30% to +50% seen for the last year.
There was also a drop in the strength of sentiment about activity levels compared to a year ago, with only +9,8% of respondents saying they were busier now than in July 2010. Again, although this was comfortably positive, it was the lowest result since early 2010.
The impact of these changes was that the overall confidence level slipped from the highs of +30% or more seen in February to May to +10,9%, the lowest it has been since January 2010. This once again raises the question of whether low results this month and in June are more than just the seasonal slowdown that normally occurs over the summer. Results from the CE Barometer in the final quarter of the year should give a clearer picture.
CE would like to thank all those that took part in the July survey. It was completed by more than 300 construction professionals in 30 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