Western European construction output to plummet by 8.1% in 2020, says GlobalData

GlobalData has cut its construction output forecast for Western Europe to -8.1% in 2020, reflecting the sharp declines in activity across the region in April, during which construction work ground to a halt in numerous markets.

Moustafa Ali, Economist at GlobalData, commented: “There is a divide in the region between those most severely impacted by the crisis, namely Spain, France, Italy and the UK, and those that will suffer a relatively mild contraction in 2020, such as Sweden, Germany and Austria. While reflecting in part the relative successes that countries have had in avoiding a major outbreak of COVID-19, the range of outcomes for construction growth in 2020 are primarily a factor of the extent to which the industry was shut down during the peak of the crisis between March and May.”

Governments across the region originally responded to the virus outbreak by imposing strict lockdown measures, which resulted in the closure of construction sites. However, with the spread of the virus slowing and the lifting of containment measures, several countries have reopened large parts of their economy, and construction work is getting back on track. Therefore, the general outlook for the construction sector across the continent is more positive in the second half of the year, as construction work restarts and economic activity picks up across the region.

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