Congress certifies Joe Biden as next US president; oil prices continue to rise amid supply constraints
Construction activity in the eurozone declined for a tenth month in December, according to the latest survey from IHS Markit. Its main index slipped to 45.5 from 46.6 in November, below the 50 mark that divides expansion from contraction.
The sharpest decline was in commercial construction, particularly in France. Sentiment among construction companies in the eurozone remained negative. Both French and German firms are expecting activity to fall over the next 12 months, while those in Italy were more optimistic.
With appetite for new construction projects remaining subdued, firms across the bloc reduced workforce numbers at a slightly quicker pace in the latest survey period. Concerns surrounding the longer term impact that the pandemic will have on the wider construction sector, alongside a lack of new projects in both the public and private sector being bought to tender resulted in an extension to the pessimistic outlook held by eurozone-based builders for a fifth month in a row.
By country, France and Germany continued to report further declines in construction activity, with the former signalling the steepest fall since May. Italian firms on the other hand registered marginal growth for the first time since September.
And Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, adds:
Double Democratic victories in the Georgia US Senate elections rippled through global assets, with stimulus hopes outweighing political violence in the US capital. The impact of the Senate outcome on policy implementation is significant, with increased potential for both modest tax hikes and higher spending for a green recovery.