Sentiment on the European construction sector enjoyed a marked improvement in March following four relatively weak winter months.
Most striking was the leap in month-on-month activity, which went from the negative figures of November to February to a positive balance of +16.7%. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses minus the percentage of negative responses.
This was the highest this measure of confidence has been since July last year.
Another positive was survey respondents’ expectations for the future. A positive balance of +40.9% of people who took the survey said they expected activity levels to be higher in a year’s time than now.
This continued a trend of robust responses to this question which have been seen since mid-2013.
However, a surprise in the March survey was that a negative balance of -4.5% of respondents said activity was lower this month than it had been a year previously. It was the first time this measure of confidence has slipped into negative territory since December.
But all-in-all, the survey painted a positive picture. The CE Climate, an overall measure of confidence stood at +17.7%, which is the best it has been since August last year. It just remains to be seen if March’s momentum carries forward into the next few months for a more sustained period of industry growth.
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