Following May’s cool-down in sentiment, results for the June CE Barometer survey pointed to further softening.
In headline terms, the picture remained positive, with the overall CE Climate for the industry coming in at a balance figure of +17.8%. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses minus the percentage of negative responses.
However, compared to May’s result of +22.2% and April’s figure of +30.3%, this pointed to a steady softening in sentiment over the early part of the summer. A summer slow-down is often seen in the CE Barometer’s results, but it tends to come in the prime vacation period of July and August, rather than this early in the year. The figures could therefore point to a genuine market slowdown, rather than a seasonal effect.
Indeed, when asked about current activity levels, a positive balance of just +1.7% of respondents said they expected to busier in June than the previous month. This compared to a figure of +23.5% in May, and so was clearly indicated a big step down in confidence. It was the main reason that the CE Climate figure was significantly lower in June than in May.
But there were other signs of weakness. A positive balance of only +7.8% of respondents said activity levels in June were higher than a year previously – again a big jump down from the results to this survey question in April and May.
But respondents were nothing if not optimistic about the future. A positive balance of +44.0% of people who took the survey said they expected activity levels to be higher in a year’s time. Of course, with other results indicating the industry had a tough time in June, this is perhaps to be expected – a ‘things can only get better’ mindset.
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