The UK, the third largest construction market in Europe, looks to be entering a period of sustained growth. Overall, the UK looks set to perform strongly over the coming years, with greater than 4% growth for this year and next, falling back only slightly in 2016. Compared to the other members of the Eurozone, 2014 is looking strong for the UK with anticipated growth of 4.4%. Only Ireland looks better (but Ireland’s construction sector has more than halved in the last 4 years, so it’s coming from a very low base).
The UK Government’s construction strategy sets an ambitious target for the construction product manufacturers; a 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials. So it’s worth getting an understanding of how the construction sector looks for the rest of Europe, and what opportunities there are there.
Euroconstruct is an organisation that draws together expertise from across Europe to provide detailed forecasting and analysis of the construction sector. Its summer 2014 report may mark the point at which, as a whole, the European construction sector moved from stability to sustained growth. This is a short summary of the findings.
Overall, the European construction market is looking in its best shape since the start of the crisis. Some countries have deep problems, and those problems haven’t disappeared. But overall, the picture is better than it’s been for a good while, with construction output anticipated to increase by 1.3% in 2014, 2% in 2015, then 2.2% in 2016. This is a turnaround; in Europe, construction output has fallen in three of the last four years, and by over 8% in the last two alone.