CE Barometer results for December 2021

By Mike Hayes01 February 2022

Current challenges fail to dampen long-term optimism

The barometer survey for the month of December 2021 was undertaken during the first three weeks of January 2022.

In general, construction was relatively slow at the end of 2021, with the triple whammy of Covid measures, supply chain issues and skills shortages negatively affecting both the speed and cost of projects.

For these reasons, the balance figure for this month (the difference between those reporting positive and negative movement, when comparing November and December, 2021) has fallen to -6.9%, its lowest point since February 2020.

Given that last month’s barometer saw a negative result of -1.5%, this consecutive fall could be seen as a sign of trouble ahead.

Figures point to confidence in growth

In fact, respondents reported that business was still improved from the same time last year – and that they expect it to be better still a year from now.

Looking back, 54.2% of respondents reported improvement from a year ago, with only 12.5% claiming business is now worse.

Similarly, 56.9% of respondents predicted that business will go on to improve in 12 months’ time, while, again, just 12.5% expect things to be worse.

Overall, the business climate now stands at 26.4%, a fractional improvement on last month’s 25.9%, but well behind the 50.7% high of last May.

A reality check, perhaps?

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