CE Barometer for April: Positive if fragile outlook

By Mike Hayes08 June 2022

The CE Barometer survey for April 2022 was undertaken during the first three weeks of May 2022

Taking the temperature of the European construction market with so many variables in play is a dangerous game.

At such times, the best thing to do is rely on the intelligence derived from the combined experience of construction professionals working across the region.

This month’s CE Barometer is formed from the responses of professionals operating in 21 European countries, giving us a broad snapshot of the current climate.

In May, respondents compared current business activity with the previous month and, on average, found it had dipped. Just 21.2% saw an improvement, while 24.2% saw less activity.

The balance stands at -3.0%, a move into negative numbers for the first time this year.

However, the longer-range view of the market is more positive…

Looking at the same time last year, more than half of the survey respondents (54.5%) report improved levels of business, up 11.6% on last month’s response.

With a drop of 4.7% in the number reporting reduced activity (18.2%), the balance figure stands at a healthy 36.4%, which is 16.4% ahead of last month’s figure.

Again, looking ahead to this time next year, there is a hint of optimism in the market, with 36.4% predicting improved business levels, compared with 30.0% in last month’s survey.

This shifts the balance figure from a precarious 1.4% in last month’s survey, to a slightly healthier 7.6% this month.

In summary, it would appear that while the current challenges – and there are many – are unquestionably hampering business growth, an undercurrent of strength in the European market is currently the prevailing sentiment.

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