European construction is not expected to grow until 2014 according to the latest figures released from Euroconstruct. The organisation made up of a group of research institutes and consulting firms also warned that the industry would not recover to 2008 levels until 2023.

As a result of continuing uncertainty in the Eurozone economy and an increasing belief that Greece will eventually be forced to leave the Euro, Euroconstruct has also had to revise down its previous forecasts. Construction forecasts were downgraded from -0.3% to -2.1% in 2012 and 1.8% to 0.4% in 2013.

Even if a predicted forecast of 1.7% growth returns in 2014, construction output across the 19 Eurozone countries will still be down 12% on 2008 levels. On average growth rates of 1.5% a year the sector will not return to 2008 levels until 2023 according to Euroconstruct. The civil engineering sector will be the biggest drag on construction activity over the next three years declining at a rate of 1.4% annually.

Looking at the construction industry’s predicted performance for the period 2012 to 2014 there is now a clear north/south divide across the European continent. Countries from the north are performing substantially better than countries in the south. Top performing Denmark and Norway are expected to see growth in excess of 2% per annum, while the weakest performers Portugal and Spain will see construction activity in deep recession of more than -3% a year.

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