Construcion outlook for 2006 improved strongly
Amsterdam – The outlook for 2006 looks distinctly more optimistic then at the November 2005 conference in Barcelona. The explanation largely lies in a remarkable upturn in new housing production this year, which was not foreseen half a year ago. While in Barcelona the Euroconstruct member institutes even forecasted a small decline in new residential construction, now a rise by 3.5% is estimated. Also the outlook for new non-residential construction and for civil engineering were adjusted upwards, however at a much lower pace. Residential as well as non-residential repair and maintenance estimates for 2006 remained almost unchanged.
In contrast to the 2006 forecast, the overall estimates for 2007 and 2008 remain almost unchanged from the Barcelona report. The 2007 outlook is maintained at a growth rate of 1.7%, while the outlook for 2008 is slightly less optimistic (1.8% growth in stead of 1.9% last November).
When we analyse the forecasts for construction activity from Euroconstruct’s member institutes over the forecast period a marked difference in the outlook for Eastern and Western Europe can be noticed. The Western European construction market is mature, investment from both public and private sources has been abundant and as a result the construction sector in these countries is generally concerned with extending, improving and maintaining the structures already in place. The construction industry in Eastern Europe is focused predominantly on installing the built environment necessary to facilitate the economic development in these countries.
After a relatively favourable outlook for 2006, the member institutes of Euroconstruct forecast a gradual slowdown in construction activity in Western Europe. The explanation lies in a srious downturn in new residential construction in 2007, resulting in a negative growth rate of -0.6% in 2008. The outlook for civil engineering in Western Europe points to a gradual slowdown in the years up to 2008, while new non-residential construction growth will be in the range of 2 to 2.5%. The outlook for the residential and non-residential R&M markets in Western Europe indicate a stable development with growth rates between 1.5 and 2% annually.
The outlook is distinctly brighter in Eastern Europe, where needs justify substantial investments in all sectors. Eastern European construction is forecast to increase at rates of approximately 7 to 8% in the forecast period. Most favourable is the outlook for civil engineering investments, which are likely to increase by more than 10% annually. But also in the residential and non-residential building sector growth will be robust.