With days getting shorter and weather getting worse, it is common for the European construction industry to experience a slowdown in the final months of the year, and this seemed to be the case based on the results of the November CE Barometer survey.
A negative balance of -6.6% of respondents said activity levels were lower in November than a year ago, indicating a slowdown in activity. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses minus the percentage of negative responses. A positive figure indicates growth, a negative one contraction. This was a decline from the positive result of +1.2% seen in October.
However, the survey participants remained optimistic about the future, with a balance of +38.7% saying they expected to be busier in a year’s time than now. This was up a little on October’s result, and similar to the figure recorded in September.
There was also encouragement to be taken from the positive balance of +8.5% of respondents who said activity levels were higher now than in November 2014. This was a turnaround from the balance figure of -8.1% in October.
These mixed results took the overall CE Climate figure, a composite index of all survey data, to +13.5%, up from the +9.3%, a recent low point.
Although some of November’s CE Barometer results were an improvement on October’s, the longer-term picture is that confidence has been shaky in the second half of the year. It is the type of data which indicates a fairly flat market, rather than an industry with a clear trend in one direction or the other.
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