Confidence regarding building and construction levels in Europe is picking up, with the latest survey showing there are more builders who believe activity levels will increase over the next year than there are those who expect a decrease.
In the October Construction Europe (CE) Barometer survey published in KL Group’s Construction Europe magazine, a net balance of +12.6 per cent of respondents say they expect activity levels to be higher in 12 months’ time than they are now.
Such expectations underpinned an upward movement in the overall CE Climate measure from -15.0 per cent to -7.7 per cent, indicating that while conditions in Europe’s construction sector continued to deteriorate in October, as they have done for the past four months, the pace of that contraction is moderating.
Still, a net balance of 24.5 per cent of respondents said activity levels are lower than they were 12 months ago and a net of 11.3 per cent indicated activity levels have fallen from their levels last month. This indicates that while conditions are expected to improve, for now, they continue to get worse.
The latest survey follows a damning assessment of Europe’s economic prospects from the International Monetary Fund, in which the IMF says it expects virtually no growth either this year or next as increasing financial stress in the Euro area’s periphery increasingly spills over into other economies throughout the region – albeit with some positive moves among policy makers in recent months.
Building and construction conditions throughout Europe have been extremely poor over recent years as poor economic conditions have hit demand for housing as well as office, retail and industrial space, financial market instability has made financing of large private sector projects difficult to come by and governments have been pulling back on public infrastructure amid extreme fiscal constraints.