June was similar to May in terms of confidence in the European construction sector, with a distinct lack of direction being expressed. Although the CE Climate – a broad measure of confidence – was in positive territory with a balance of +2.2%, such a low value indicates the market was finely poised between optimists and pessimists. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses, minus the number of negative ones.
The particularly short length of the arrow on this month’s barometer ‘clock’ indicates the lack of strong sentiment one way or the other. The length of the arrow indicates the overall strength of feelings in the CE Barometer survey, so a short arrow means opinions are finely balanced.
On the positive side, a balance of +9.3% of respondents said they were busier in June than May, an improvement on May’s figure of +3.1%.
There was also convincing positive sentiment about the future outlook. A balance of +13% of respondents said they expected activity levels to be higher in a year’s time. Although this was a good result, it represented something of a fall from the first quarter of the year, when scores for this measure of confidence were in the +20% to +30% range.
On the down side, a negative balance of -15.7% of respondents said business was worse in June than a year ago. This measure of confidence has been in negative territory since February last year. It is interesting to reflect that over the intervening 16 months, respondents to the survey have fairly consistently said they expected business to be better in a year’s time. However, results from this February onwards that look back have consistently said business is lower than a year ago.
This indicates, not for the first time, that respondents to the CE Barometer tend to be over-confident about the future outlook.
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