The European Steel Association, in its recent report, makes a comprehensive assessment of the construction sector in the European Union. The third quarter of 2014 saw the overall construction output in the EU fall by 1.4% year-on-year. However, in the first half of the year, growth had been positive, offsetting some of the damage done by the negative growth.
The report also studies the construction sector in the EU across sectors, and finds disparate levels of growth through the region. In a number of countries that have been reeling under the Eurozone crisis, construction activity was observed as being weak. On the other hand, in countries such as Sweden and the United Kingdom, growth was seen as being rather buoyant. In Central Europe, output showed an upward trend, however the rate of growth was slower than that in the first half of 2014. This is pinned down to growth in Poland coming to a virtual halt.
Activity stirred up in the two key sectors of infrastructure and residential construction. The report estimates that in the last quarter of 2014, output would prove to be much more stable than a year earlier. On the whole, construction activity is estimated to have seen a 1.3% jump.
While data from actual activity during the second half of 2014 could not be termed as encouraging, all market indicators pointed toward a marked improvement in confidence during this period. Based on these indicators, market experts opine that the construction sector could be moving toward more broad-based recovery through 2015, especially in the months following the second quarter.
According to the findings of the report, investment in construction will also rise considerably. Public funding will likely take center stage during this time, as it will be more important than before.