• Prior 43.3

An improvement in German construction activity points to a shallower contraction in February, helped by the fact that input cost inflation fell to a 27-month low. New orders continued to fall though, albeit at a slower pace. S&P Global notes that:

“February's PMI showed the German construction sector take a step towards stabilisation, with the decline in total industry activity easing to only a modest pace that was the weakest in the current 11-month sequence of contraction. Underlying data showed a more positive month for civil engineering, albeit with the rise in activity coming off the back of a sharp downturn in prior months.

"Demand for building work remains strained by elevated prices and tightening financing conditions, although it's encouraging to see that the rate of decline in new orders has at least slowed and that firms are now far less pessimistic about the outlook than they were just a few months ago.

"Easing cost pressures were a key feature of the latest survey data, with building firms having faced ultra-high rates of input price inflation over the past two years. Latest data showed construction sector costs rising at the slowest rate since November 2020, and one that was even slightly lower than the pre-pandemic series average, amid indications from the survey of reduced supply-demand imbalances."