French construction improves again

French construction sector activity has improved month-on-month in July after slowing heavily due to the pandemic crisis, according to a report from l’Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (Insee) monitored by Kallanish.

This month, many more construction businesses than in June have anticipated an increase in their future activity for the next three months. They are also less negative than in June regarding their activity over the past three months, mostly during lockdown. In July, the employment prospects for the next three months have improved again, after a low point in April-May, the report says.

Fewer business managers than in June have considered that their order books are less filled than normal. The corresponding balance of opinion is on the rise, moving closer to its long-term average. Given their present staff size, business managers consider that their order books provide 8 months of work, a little more the last month and significantly more than the long-term average of 5.7 months.

In July, more business managers than in April have reported an improvement in their cash-flow position. At the same time, fewer companies have reported a lengthening of payment periods from their clients, Kallanish notes. Otherwise, for the third consecutive month, more construction companies than in June have announced that they will increase their prices over the next three months, the report concludes.