Construction production (volume) index overview
- Data from March 2018. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, main tables and database.
- Please also see the monthly Eurostat News Release, 19 March 2019. Planned article update: March 2019.
The production index for construction is a business cycle indicator which measures monthly changes in the price adjusted output of construction. The construction production index corresponds to the industrial production index but covers (parts of) NACE section F.
Main statistical findings
Until the end of 2006 construction output in Europe had increased rather steadily; but with the economic and financial crisis output began to decline quite dramatically. Between spring 2008 and early 2013 the level of total construction in the EU-28 had been on a more or less constant decline (apart from a short peak in summer 2010). In total the index lost more than 30 percentage points. Since Spring 2013 the index of construction production in the EU-28 has been relatively steadily increasing and has now almost reached 90 % of the former peak level. Between 2005 and 2013 the development of overall construction was very similar in the EU-28 and the Euro area (EA-19). In the latter however the recovery since early 2013 has been somewhat less steady (Figure 1).
There are noticeable differences between the development of the construction of buildings (residential and non-residential) which accounts for around 77 % of total construction in the EU-28 and the development of the construction of civil engineering works (e.g. railways, roads, bridges, airport runways, dams) which accounts for around 23 % of total construction. For the latter the effects of the financial and economic crisis were less marked than for construction of buildings. On the other hand, however, the recovery was also less dynamic (Figure 2).
The crisis in the building sector hit all EU-28 countries albeit to a different extent. All countries experienced a decline in building production ranging from an extreme reduction of -48.3 % in Lithuania in 2009 to almost stable activity levels in Germany and Austria. In Poland the index of construction production even shows an increase for this year. In several countries (e.g. Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Hungary, Latvia, and Portugal) growth rates had already begun to move considerably downwards before 2009 while in several other countries the drop in building activities happened in a more sudden way and was shorter (Table 1). For the EU as a whole negative rates of changes persevered during the years 2010 to 2013. During the last four years positive growth rates could again be registered for the EU-28 construction.
Table 2 provides a breakdown of the total construction into buildings and civil engineering work. For the latter the effects of the crisis were generally less pronounced.
Data sources, aggregation and availability
Like the industrial production index the construction production index is intended to reflect the monthly volume value added of the construction sector. This variable is however not directly observable and must therefore be approximated by other measures such as deflated gross production or input of labour and raw materials.
Eurostat publishes, on a monthly basis, the construction production index for the EU, for the euro area and the Member States; data are also collected for Norway, Switzerland, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Turkey (however there are no complete data series for all countries). Data are presented in calendar adjusted/ working-day adjusted and in seasonally adjusted form, rates of change are also available. Currently the indices for construction production are calculated with 2010 as the base year (=100).
The EU-28 construction sector accounts for more than 5 % of (gross) value added. Although the relative share of construction in Europe's economic activity has declined over recent years construction is still of high importance for European economies. The indices for the development of construction output is therefore an important tool for the European Central Bank and the national central banks for monitoring and analysing economic developments. Production in construction is one of the so-called 'Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEI)' which are used to monitor and steer economic policy in the EU and in the euro area.
Further Eurostat information
- EU-27 construction activity falls by 16% from its pre-crisis high by the second quarter of 2011, Statistics in focus 61/2011
- An international comparison of short-term statistics, Statistics in focus 53/2011
- An analysis of building construction based on building permits, Statistics in focus 55/2010
- A decade and more of monthly construction statistics, Statistics in focus 129/2007
- Construction, building and civil engineering (NACE F) (t_sts_cons)
- Production in construction (teiis500)
- Construction, building and civil engineering (sts_cons)
- Construction production index (sts_cons_pro)