EU construction activity picks up sharply in May, says GlobalData

Following the release of data from Eurostat showing a significant improvement in EU construction output in May;

Moustafa Ali, Economist at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the latest construction data release:

“EU construction output rebounded in May, with output increasing by 21.2% month-on-month following the record fall in April, when output plummeted by 14.9%. The sharp rebound in construction output in May reflects the easing of lockdown measures across most member states, and it is line with GlobalData’s expectations of a recovery following the lockdown in March and April, which had adversely affected construction output.

“GlobalData forecasts that construction output will contract by 8.1% in Western Europe in 2020, with the steep contraction in Q2 2020 being partially offset by improvements during the second half of the year. However, there are downside risks to the prospect of a solid recovery in the second half, particularly if a second outbreak occurs that results in renewed lockdown measures. Despite the improvements in May, construction output is still markedly down compared to pre-COVID-19 levels – in May, output was down by 10.3% year-on-year.

“The rebound in output reflects improvements in both civil engineering, which rose by 22.4% in May on a month-on-month basis, and in building construction, up 20.4%. The highest increases in output were recorded in Italy where output increased by 168%, and in France, up by 118.3%.”

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