Market news

6 May 2021

Expansion in eurozone construction activity holds steady

According to the report from IHS Markit, the Eurozone Construction Total Activity Index was unchanged at 50.1 in April, signalling a fractional expansion in eurozone construction activity for the second successive month. Firms often linked this to a resumption of work on paused projects, although were increasingly concerned about the impact that renewed COVID-19 restrictions had on overall demand in the construction sector. April data pointed to a further rise in home building activity, as well as a softer reduction in commercial construction. Civil engineering work, meanwhile, fell at a faster pace in April.

Work undertaken on housing by eurozone construction firms increased for a second successive month in April. The rate of growth quickened from March and was the strongest recorded since February 2020. 

Commercial construction activity contracted again in the latest survey period, extending the current sequence of decline to 14 months. That said, the pace of the reduction eased from March and was the softest in the sequence.

The downturn in eurozone civil engineering activity continued in April, as work undertaken on infrastructure projects contracted at a modest pace. The rate of the decline quickened from March and was the twenty-first in as many months. 

The degree of optimism regarding the outlook for activity over the coming 12 months eased in April, and was the softest recorded for three months. German constructors signalled renewed pessimism regarding the year ahead outlook, with projections at their weakest since December 2020. French firms indicated a lower level of positive sentiment, though Italian firms signalled the strongest projections since August 2001.

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