Reading the clock

18 March 2008

The direction or angle of the arrow gives an indication of 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 approaching the vertical. This indicates in a graphical way what the numbers say - that expectations are for activity to be as high in a year's time as it is now - a continued boom in other words.

In fact, the direction of the arrow is unchanged from where it was last month. What has changed is its length. Weakening sentiment about both the current and future outlook means the arrow is about -15% shorter this month than it was following the survey carried out in July.

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