Thursday, August 21, 2014

21/8/2014: Euro Area Construction Sector Activity: H1 2014

Euro area production in construction sector series are out for Q2 2014 (excluding a number of countries) and here is the latest data (you can see press release here:

First, EU28, EA18 compared to UK (non-euro) and Switzerland (non-EU):

Takeaways from the above:

  • The latest euro area index performance (+3.47% y/y) is weak (this is seasonally-adjusted data) and q/q the index has fallen 0.56%. EU28 data is even worse: y/y up 2.90% and q/q it is down 0.57%.
Next: Euro area Big 4:

Again, key takeaways

  • Germany: y/y activity is down 0.33% and q/q it is down massive 5.75%
  • Spanish construction activity posted large 26.01% y/y rise and a q/q increase of 7.04%.
  • French construction activity shrunk 0.78% y/y and was down 0.69% q/q
  • Italy is yet to report Q2 2014 data, but in Q1 2014, country construction activity was down 5.51% y/y and down 2.56% q/q.
Euro 'periphery' remains the weak point of the sector activity in level terms, but improving and outperforming EA18 in growth terms:

Key takeaways:

  • Having noted Spanish and Italian construction sectors performance above, Ireland's Q1 2014 activity was up 7.68% y/y and up 2.10% q/q
  • Greece is a mixed bag: Q1 2014 activity was up 2.66% y/y but down 6.56% q/q
  • Q2 2014 data for Portugal posted an 10.0% decrease in activity y/y and a rise of 0.77% in q/q terms.
Now, to summarise the problem, here is the rate of decline in Q1-Q2 2014 compared to pre-crisis peak:

Key takeaways:

  • All 'peripheral' euro area economies remain deeply below water in terms of their construction sector activity in H1 2014.
  • No euro area  advanced economy has regained pre-crisis levels of activity. 
The above hold even if we replace pre-crisis peak with 2000-2004 quarterly average:

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