The economic uncertainty in Europe still continues. In both industrial and new construction activities, investment decisions are being postponed to a later date. The growth predictions for construction activities and equipment rental were adjusted downwards during 2012 in nearly all of Cramo’s market areas and market-specific differences increased.
Euroconstruct, the construction market analysts, predicted in December 2012 that construction activity in Finland and Sweden declined approximately three per cent in 2012. In addition, there was a clear decline in construction activity in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In other markets, construction activity remained nearly at the previous year’s level or increased.
Construction market forecasts for 2013 are slightly more positive. In Poland, construction market growth is estimated to take a negative turn, and the Finnish construction market is expected to decline by approximately two per cent. However, in Denmark, Norway, Germany, Russia and the Baltic countries, the markets are expected to grow. The Swedish market is predicted to remain at the 2012 level.
The equipment rental market normally grows faster than the underlying construction market, but changes in demand follow those in construction with a small delay. In November, the European Rental Association ERA estimated that in 2013 equipment rental will grow moderately in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany but will decline in Poland. According to ERA, in many countries the growth results from renovation and industrial projects. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland predicts a decline of approximately one per cent for equipment rental in Finland.
Cramo takes a cautious approach to 2013. The equipment rental market will be challenging particularly during the first part of the year, but the economic situation in Cramo’s main markets is forecasted to improve towards the end of the year.
(All construction market forecasts presented in this review are estimates by Euroconstruct, unless stated otherwise.)