Market environment

Market environment impacted by COVID-19

The construction sector varied from country to country in 2020. The market environment was largely characterised by negative growth figures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In November 2020, Euroconstruct forecasted a decrease in building construction for Europe in 2020 of -8.8%, an improvement on the estimation made in mid-2020 (-12.7%). At -10.5%, new construction reported a stronger decline than renovations (-7.3%). Both non-residential construction (-9.2%) and residential construction (-8.6%) saw a decline in 2020. According to Euroconstruct, the following countries that are important to Geberit in terms of sales experienced mixed results in 2020: a strong decline was seen in the United Kingdom (-22.4%), France (-14.4%), Italy (-9.7%) and Belgium (-9.1%), with slight decreases in Austria (-3.3%), the Netherlands (-3.1%), Switzerland (-2.3%) and Germany (-1.6%). According to the figures in the October 2020 edition of the IMF World Economic Outlook, a significant share (around 40%) of the global decline in economic performance originated in Europe, with a GDP growth rate of -7.5%.

Construction output and Geberit net sales in Europe 2016–2020

(Index: 2015 = 100)

Of the total European construction volume of EUR 1,566 billion in 2020, around 80% was generated by building construction. The ratio of residential to non-residential building construction remained the same at around 60 to 40 percent. New construction as a share of total building construction continued to lag behind the renovation business in 2020.

Total construction output Europe 2020

(EUR 1,566 billion)

According to estimates by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by -3.5% in the US (previous year +2.2%). Investments in building construction increased by +4.7% according to figures from the United States Census Bureau. Within building construction, investments in residential construction increased by +11.8%. Investments in non-residential construction remained constant (previous year -2.4%). The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the accommodation, office buildings and retail sectors in particular. The healthcare/hospitals and schools/universities segments, which are important for Geberit, developed with +4.3% substantially stronger and with -0.8% substantially weaker, respectively, compared to the previous year (+1.2% and +4.1%, respectively).

In the Far East/Pacific region, economic growth amounted to -2.0% in 2020. While negative, this figure was still a significant improvement on global economic growth (-4.6%). At just under 20%, less than one-fifth of the global economic decline originated from the Far East/Pacific region (previous year 60% contribution to growth). China continued to grow (+1.9%), although at a much less pronounced rate than in the previous year (+6.1%). The Chinese residential construction sector grew moderately in both tier one and tier two cities. At 2 to 3%, growth in tier one cities was below that seen in tier two cities (5 to 6%) due to the lower availability of plots for new buildings.

Following moderate growth in the previous year, economic growth in the Middle East/Africa region declined by -5.4% in the reporting year.

(The aforementioned figures covering the world economy and the performance of the Far East/Pacific and Middle East/Africa regions were published in the October 2020 edition of the IMF World Economic Outlook.)


Download center
Mark page
Graphics collection
Forward content
Compare to 2019