Goldman Sachs upgraded the European construction sector to neutral from cautious on Wednesday to reflect Goldman economist upgrades to 2010 GDP expectations in Europe and the U.S. The broker upped its 2010/2011 estimated European construction spending growth forecasts to between 1.3% and 4.1%, from a prior forecast of negative 0.2% to 2.0% growth. "This is driven by our expectation of growth in residential and civil spend, offsetting an expected decline in non-residential construction in 2010," the broker said.
Lafarge remains the broker’s top pick. It upgraded Germany’s Bilfinger Berger to buy from sell and upgraded France’s Eiffage to neutral from sell. At the same time it downgraded ACS and Strabag to sell from neutral and Saint Gobain and Hochtief to neutral from buy.