CE Barometer November 2014: Confidence still weak

By Chris Sleight18 November 2014

Sentiment on European construction activity remained weak in November, partly due to seasonal factors, according to the latest CE Barometer survey.

The most notable change from October’s results was that sentiment about current activity levels dropped into negative territory. Last month a positive balance of +0.9% of respondents said they were busier in October than in September. However, in this month’s results, that figure fell to a balance of -5.5%. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses, minus the percentage of negative ones.

A downturn in November is fairly common with the CE Barometer as the weather worsens in Europe with the onset of winter. With this measure of confidence already weak in October, it was perhaps unsurprising that a negative result came back in November. However, this was the first time the month-to-month measure of sentiment has been negative since August 2013, so it also points to underlying market weakness.

In contrast, respondents to the survey were more bullish about future prospects. After a pronounced dip in September, this measure of confidence strengthened in November for the second month running. At a balance of +31.5% it was very firmly in positive territory.

However, there a backward looking measure of confidence was less convincing. Asked how activity levels in November compared to a year ago, a balance of only +6.5% of respondents said things were better. Granted, this was an improvement from the figure of -0.9% seen in October, but it was not exactly an emphatic result.

This mixed bag of results took the CE Climate, an overall measure of sentiment, to a balance of +10.5%, this was a small step up from October’s figure of +9.7%, but along with September’s +11.5%, it was still significantly below the +20% to +35% figures that had been seen earlier in the year.

Take part

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

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