CE Barometer - July: Hope that downward trend is shortlived

By Mike Hayes23 August 2022

The CE Barometer survey for July was undertaken during the first three weeks of August.

Construction professionals from across Europe took part in this month’s CE Barometer survey.

The results show a reversal of fortunes, compared with the previous survey, with a worrying drop in current business levels, but a perhaps surprising return to confidence, looking to the future.

Reporting on business levels during the month of July, 25% of respondents said they had seen an improvement, while 39.3% cited a worsening scenario.

The balance figure (negative responses subtracted from positive responses) therefore stands at -14.3% – the lowest seen since November 2019.

This figure represents a worrying slowdown in business at a time when it was hoped construction would be leading the charge to recovery.

It also demonstrates a very rapid decline from the positive 22% balance seen just four weeks ago.

Looking back

Comparing today’s business levels with those at the same time last year, we see a significant fall from last month’s balance figure of 22.6% to this month’s 7.1%.

The figure is positive nonetheless, with 35.7% reporting an improvement, compared with 28.6% citing a drop, but a balance of 7.1% still represents the lowest figure seen since January 2021.

Looking ahead 12 months, 35.7% of respondents forecast improved business levels, with only 17.9% fearing levels lower than today’s.

At 17.9%, the balance figure is a significant leap into positivity, compared with last month’s -9.7%, giving rise to hope that the current disappointing levels of business will be an anomaly, as opposed to a trend.

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