CE Barometer - January 2021: Confidence slowly returning

By Mike Hayes22 February 2021

Positive response to latest survey, as Covid-19 vaccines bring hope to European businesses

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The January 2021 Barometer survey produced a positive balance figure of 18% on month-on-month business conditions, the balance being the difference between those reporting an improvement or deterioration in conditions between January 2021 and December 2020.

The survey was completed in late January and early February, with positive responses potentially reflecting renewed optimism generated by the early success of Covid-19 vaccination rollouts.

Just over 40% of respondents indicated a higher level of business in January than in the previous month, with only 22% registering a drop in levels. Some 38% reported no change.

The year-on-year results are also positive, with 37% of respondents reporting that January 2021 was better than the same month in 2020, although this was balanced out by the 38% who reported lower levels of activity. An encouraging 62% reported improved or level activity, with more than a quarter (25.4%) indicating that current business levels were equivalent to those in January 2020, just before the onset of the Covid pandemic.

Looking ahead, it is pleasing to see some confidence returning to the market, with two thirds of respondents (66.4%) expecting to see improved levels of business in 12 months’ time. This compares with the 12% who currently expect business levels to drop over the next 12 months.

The CE Barometer survey is sent out to a broad cross-section of construction industry professionals, including contractors, equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers, surveyors and many others within Europe’s construction supply chain.

While the largest number of responses to the January survey came from equipment manufacturers (29.5%), there was growth in the number of contractors and sub-contractors (20.5%), as well as dealers, distributors and rental professionals (22.1%).

Geographically, the largest number of responses came from Germany (13.9%), the UK (13.1%) and Italy (9.8%).

Calling construction professionals

The CE Barometer only takes a minute to complete. If you would like to take part and help give a clearer picture of the state of the construction industry in Europe, please email mike.hayes@khl.com, giving your company name and geographical location, and the survey will be sent out to you each month. 

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