According to preliminary seasonally adjusted statistics from Eurostat, total completed construction in the EU decreased by 0.8% in February (compared to previous month) and increased by 0.3% compared to same month 2017. The trend line for the construction in the EU has increased from the low levels seen in early 2013. The trend line is during the past year at the highest level since 2009.
Index of completed housing construction (residential, schools, shops, etc.) in the EU increased by 0.5% in February compared to same month 2017. Civil engineering construction decreased by 1.6% compared to same month 2017. Seasonally adjusted figures.
As shown in the chart below; the trend line for housing construction remains at a high level in February (compared to after the financial crisis). The trend line for the construction in civil engineering decreased clearly in February (compared to the previous month). However, the trend line has a "saw tooth" appearance, thus we can't make any conclusions for only one month change.
The trend lines for the construction and lumber import in the main European importing countries correlate strongly.
Index of completed housing production in the EU increased by 4.2% in 2017 (compared to 2016). According to the most recent forecast from Euroconstruct, construction in EU was forecasted to increase by 3.9% in 2017, which correlates quite well with the housing production figures.
According to Euroconstruct's forecast for 2018 construction will increase by another 2.3% (compared to previous year), increase by 1.5% in 2019 and by another 1.0% in 2020. Construction is increasing, but at a slower pace for each year. With an increased construction during the next three years one can also expect to see an increase in European lumber import during 2018-2020.