Tuesday, December 11, 2012

11/12/2012: Ireland and EU27 Construction sector activity Q3 2012

On foot of the previous post looking at Q3 2012 data for Construction and Building Sector activity in Ireland, here are some international comparatives.

Keep in mind the mental key to decoding these: per Irish Government and a host of its 'analysts', Ireland has delivered an economic turnaround sometime back in early 2012 and our economy has stabilized. We are not Greece. In fact, per claims, we are the best performing economy in the Euro area periphery.

With the above in mind, chart below shows Ireland's Building & Construction Sector performance with index normalized at 100=2005, set against the backdrop of the 'Peripheral' Euro area states:

Pretty clearly, we are 'unique' in the periphery as being so far the worst performing economy in terms of Building & Construction. Now, let's recall that in Ireland, Building & Construction are about the only conduits for household investment. Also, let's recall that household investment is usually seen as the leading indicator of cyclical turnarounds.

Now, to the full EU27 comparative:

And again, by far, Ireland is the worst performer in the above. In fact, based on 2012 data through Q3:

  • Ireland's index of construction activity is currently at 20.85, down on 2011 index of 23.4 and down on pre-crisis peak of 103.6. 
  • Which means that Irish activity index is now down to the absolute lowest in the EU27. Worse, our index reading is worse than Greece's (37.7 or 81% ahead of Ireland's). 
  • We are 44.7% below Greece, 53.2% below Spain, 62.7% below Portugal and 73.2% below Italy.

So that 'turnaround' or in Hillary Clinton's words 'rebound', then... certainly not to be seen in Building & Construction sector.

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