The European construction industry fell into recession in September, according to the results of the latest CE Barometer survey, with respondents reporting negative sentiment across the board. Following on from weak results in August, survey data showed month-on-month activity falling, and a negative future outlook. Respondents also said they were busier a year ago.
A negative balance of -30.1% of respondents said there were greater activity levels in September 2011, compared to the same month this year. This measure of confidence has been in negative territory since February this year, but at -30% it sunk to a depth that has not been seen since 2009. The balance figure is the percentage of positive responses, minus the number of negative ones.
In addition, a balance of -11.5% of respondents said activity in September was lower than in the previous month. This was not as severe a low as was seen in the traditionally quiet summer months of July and August. However, a fall in activity from August to September is unusual, given that activity normally picks up after the summer break.
Another unwelcome change in the CE Barometer trend was the -3.5% of respondents who said they expected activity to be lower in a year's time. Despite weak month-on-month and year-ago data, this measure of confidence had previously been positive in the year to date, having last tipped into the red in November and December 2011, as the sovereign debt issues threatened the future of the Euro.
The result of these three negative results meant the CE Climate - an overall measure of confidence - fell to its lowest for almost a year at -15.0%
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