EU construction sector suffers multiple setbacks

Septembre 2022
ING (11 pages).

We expect low growth in the EU construction sector this year and next. The EU Construction Confidence Indicator is still positive but optimism is waning.
In June 2022, the EU's construction output was 2.3% lower than in February before the Ukraine war began. The difference in output between countries is huge. The Austrian and German construction sectors have experienced the biggest declines of -6.3% and -4.5%, respectively. Labour and material shortages are severe in these countries. In addition, German consumers are currently more reluctant to make home improvements than consumers in many other EU countries (see below). Austria has a lower number of building permits in 2021 which is likely to weigh on production this year and next. The Netherlands showed the smallest deterioration (-0.1%), however, compared to a year ago, Dutch contractor volumes still increased by a staggering 5.3%. Growth was especially high in the Dutch residential and commercial building sector. For Dutch civil engineering, the levels of nitrogen emissions in The Netherlands are still an issue.
On the other end of the spectrum, Poland’s construction sector showed the highest year-on-year growth in June (6.7%).