French construction outlook improves despite supply issues

French construction industry managers’ confidence over future activity improved on-month in November, despite the current obstacles to production due to global supply disruptions and slow deliveries, according to a l’Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (Insee) report monitored by Kallanish.

French construction companies’ general outlook for the next quarter is optimistic as more companies than in October consider their order books higher than normal. Current order books provide them with over 8 months of work, above the long-term average of 5.9 months, the report says.

Pressures on production capacity persisted in November.

“Roughly as many business managers as last month have reported that obstacles have been limiting their production … A bit less than half of business managers are facing difficulties due to a workforce shortage,” Insee observes.

About 28% of companies are unable to increase their production in case of additional orders, the same share as in November.

“Since July, half of business managers have reported to be in this situation,” Insee adds, with little change from October.

In November, more construction firms than in the previous month said they will increase their prices over the next quarter.

Domestic rebar prices remain stable on November at €750/tonne ($848/t) ex-works. Some restocking for January is now underway as the market expects increases to be announced by producers before the start of the Christmas holiday.

Natalia Capra France