European Construction Industry Continues Slow Recovery Process

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European Construction Industry Continues Slow Recovery Process

The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) has reported a 2.2% recovery in activity in the overall EU construction industry in 2016 - and forecasts the same increase in 2017.

“After reaching the bottom in 2013, activity keeps slowly recovering in the construction industry,” declared an FIEC spokesperson.

Presenting FIEC’s annual statistics at the federation’s Congress 2017 in Stockholm, President Jean-Louis Marchand said: “In 2016 an increase in activity was seen in almost all segments, except those that are the most dependent on public investment. And 2017 will finally show an overall increase in activity.”

He added: “Overall, EU total construction output amounted to €1,278 billion in 2016, which represents an increase of 2.2% compared to 2015. This is positive, but we will still need time to recover the pre-crisis levels.”

Highlights of FIEC’s reports include:

  • Northern European countries are still performing better than South-Eastern European countries
  • The main driving forces in 2016 were the new housebuilding segment (+8%) and the private non-residential segment (+6.6%), influenced by overall economic recovery
  • In contrast, the public non-residential (-5.9%) and civil engineering (-0.3%) segments remained weak
  • Renovation and maintenance activity maintained relatively stable before and throughout the economic crisis, having an important cushioning effect for the entire construction sector. This trend is expected to continue in the near future
  • The level of employment in the construction industry increased again slightly in 2016 (+1.1%), but over the entire period (2008-2014), the sector lost more than 2m jobs
  • Construction provides jobs for 14.3m people, representing 6.4% of Europe’s total employment. This rises to 42.9m jobs when the indirect employment generated in related sectors is included
  • The construction industry remains one of the major engines of Europe’s growth, representing 8.6% of EU GDP and involves 3.3m enterprises – the vast majority of which are SMEs


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