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Competitiveness of the European construction industry: CEMBUREAU will take action

On 31 July 2012, the European Commission outlined its “Strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises”. The Communication acknowledges the economic importance of the construction sector which can significantly influence the development of the overall economy.

Economic Quarterly Report

As in previous quarters, in Q1 2012 the macroeconomic environment in the EU and the euro area continued to be negatively affected by low consumer confidence, ongoing sovereign debt crises and high unemployment rates (which peaked in historical terms in countries such as Spain - 24.6% - and Greece - 22.5%) resulting in weak private consumption and subdued business investment. As a result, quarter-on-quarter growth rate in real GDP in the EU27 was flat, following from the modest 0.3% decrease in Q4 2011. On a yearly basis, real GDP in the EU slowed down compared to what was recorded in Q4 2011 (0.8%), and grew by a mere 0.1%, which has been the lowest rate observed since Q4 2009.

Economic quarterly report Q1 2013

Further to disappointing quarterly developments throughout 2012, latest actual annual GDP data revealed the weakest macroeconomic picture in the EU since the onset of the economic crisis in 2008. Equally, according to the latest EU and IMF forecast, economic conditions will prove lacklustre also in 2013, resulting in feeble recovery in some EU economies and continued recession in the EU27, albeit very mild, with considerable heterogeneity in economic performance across countries.

Quarterly economic report: Q2 2013

The latest quarterly real GDP data (Q2 2013) continued to reveal a weak macroeconomic picture in the EU. Actual figures for the first half of the year seem fully consistent with lhe latest EU and IMF forecasts which all predict continued economic recession for the EU and its major economies (with the exception of Germany) in 2013. More particularly, the 0.4% (revised, formerly 0.3%) recession in 2012 was mainly the result of negative factors which, at present, continue to seriously affect overall economic developments: depressed domestic demand and dropping confidence (which were severely affected by the austerity measures undertaken in many EU countries), tight credit conditions, and very low domestic demand from consumers

Quarterly Economic Report – Q4 2013

A clear improvement in the macroeconomic and industrial environment was observed across the EU over the second half of 2013, gaining some momentum in Q4 2013, resulting in overall better annual 2013 figures compared to one year earlier.

Quarterly economic report – Q1 2014

Further to the improvement in the macroeconomic and industrial environment that was observed over the second half of 2013, real GDP growth in Q1 2014 remained in positive territory in the EU (0.3%), albeit rather weakly, with economic performance continuing to diverge amongst individual countries.

Quarterly economic report – Q2 2014

The economic cycle bottomed out in Q2 2013 and rose in H2 2013 - yet ongoing austerity measures, deflationary pressures, low consumer and business confidence and slowdown in exports have resulted in rather weak H1 2014 macroeconomic figures.

To what extent should authorities promote the use of recycled aggregates for concrete?

Over the last ten years, politicians and stakeholders alike have focused on better production and use of energy. Nevertheless, energy is not the only resource which can have environmental, economic and geopolitical impacts. All raw materials can play a role, albeit to a different extent. For example, whilst rare earths are scarce in Europe, many other raw materials, such as limestone and aggregates are abundantly available.

2015: The road ahead

Just before the Christmas recess, the newly appointed European Commission announced its work programme for 2015. The removal of certain proposals, most notably those relating to the circular economy package adopted just six months earlier, stirred up plenty of controversy in Brussels. Nevertheless, the Commission has good intentions as it hopes that this Work Programme will make ‘a real difference for jobs, growth and investment’. It is clear that this Work Programme will go some way towards shaping the work of CEMBUREAU in 2015.

Quarterly economic report – Q3 2015

Highlights - Real GDP figures for Q3 2015 showed no recession anywhere across the EU, with recovery speeding up in Spain and remaining at rather moderate rates almost everywhere else.