Construction europe barometer

15 April 2008

Reading the clock

Our 'clock' diagram is a stylised representation of the answers to the survey's first two questions. While it is designed to provide an at-a-glance view of each month's results, it also gives some in-depth information. The length of the arrow is indicative of the strength of the sentiment of our participants – this month it is a very long arrow, due to the up-beat responses.

The direction or angle of the arrow is also a useful indicator, as it gives some guide to the point in the cycle the European construction industry is currently at. Given that there was stronger sentiment looking ahead then there was for the current situation, this month's arrow is left of vertical. This indicates in a graphical way what the numbers say – that activity will improve in the future, so the height of the boom has not yet been reached.

It is interesting to note that the arrow was further 'back' in January than the previous month, due to slightly weaker sentiment about current prospects. A possible explanation for this is that better than normal weather in the early part of the winter gave the industry a boost. As one respondent put it, “The mild weather is affecting business positively.”

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