The Board of Directors of the European Federation of the Parquet Industry met on 19 October 2016 and discussed amongst others both the parquet situation and recent economic indicators on the European market. The good start observed in many reporting European countries during the first months of the current year has been confirmed during the first semester of 2016, when compared to the same period of last year. Although the reported parquet sales figures are not booming, the positive trend continues and activity seems to consolidate in most of Europe.
Parquet sales are recovering a bit in Italy by 1 to 2% but from a very low level. Despite increases in bank lending, people are still reluctant to invest. A positive vote on the referendum to support the actual government is necessary to prevent a new crisis. The information provided to FEP points in the direction of an increase of the parquet sales by 3% in Austria, reflecting significant increases of investments in buildings. The Belgian market progressed by an estimated 3% during the first semester of 2016 and is expected to keep this pace up to the end of the current year. The first half of the year shows rather good results with an increase by 3% of the French sales although producers of solid wood parquet are not experiencing such positive developments. These trends should continue as there is no reason to expect a sudden turnaround. The German market grew with an estimated 3% in the first six months of the current year but is presently becoming more "difficult".