Optimism about the 12-month outlook improved substantially.
New orders declined but at a much weaker rate than in January and employment levels expanded for the second month running.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is based on a single question asking respondents to report on the actual change in their total construction activity compared to one month ago. February’s return to growth in February signalled an expansion in total construction output in Germany. The index rose from 49.5 in January to a three-month high of 53.1. Anecdotal evidence suggested that favourable weather conditions accounted for some of the rise in construction activity.
The rise in the headline index largely reflected a solid upturn in housing activity, with growth in work on residential building projects accelerating to the strongest in nearly three years. Commercial activity also increased on the month, having declined in each of the two previous survey periods. But civil engineering activity contracted for the third successive month, though the rate of decline eased.
Companies raised their purchasing activity for the second successive month, which some attributed to a relatively good order situation.