Civils work suffers as German growth slows

Germany’s construction sector continued to grow in April though the rise in output was slower than the previous month and civils work fell.

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The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – which is based on a single question asking respondents to report on the actual monthly change in their total construction activity – fell from March’s 53.3 to 51.0 in April. This signalled that output growth in German construction firms was weaker. Where survey participants signalled higher construction activity, they partly attributed this to increased new orders and good weather.

Out of the three broad categories of construction activity, civil engineering was the worst performing subsector, with output falling since the previous month. The decline followed a marginal expansion in March.

Meanwhile, work on residential building projects rose for the seventh month running in April. However, the latest increase was much weaker than those seen in the previous two months.

Commercial activity also rose at a slower pace in April. The latest expansion was nevertheless the second-strongest in just over a year and above the long-run series average.