Leading data and analytics company GlobalData forecasts that the Western European construction industry will contract by 5.1% in 2020, a sharp downward revision from the 0.7% expansion forecasted in the Q4 2019 update. A further downward revision of the forecast is likely if containment measures are extended in the coming weeks.
Moustafa Ali, Economist at GlobalData, comments: “Governments across the region have responded to the virus outbreak by imposing strict lockdown measures, including the closure of construction sites in ‘non-essential’ sectors. Several major contractors have issued profit warnings, suspended dividend payments to shareholders and cut staff salaries amid the project delays and site closures.
“The measures imposed have led to severe disruption in key markets. In the UK, it is estimated that one in five construction sites have been closed since mid-March. In France, although the construction industry has been exempt from the nationwide lockdown that has been in place since mid-March, projects appear to have been severely disrupted.”