French construction sector outlook improves slightly

Sentiment among French construction companies improved in August compared to July. However, although their outlook on the next three months of activity has improved, companies’ opinion of the past three months’ activity has deteriorated, Kallanish learns from a l’Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (Insee) report.

In August, production increased again slightly but obstacles continued, caused by global supply disruptions. The same number of companies as in July reported procurement issues are limiting and slowing their output.

However, fewer construction firms than in July say they are facing supply difficulties and will limit their production capacity. “Just over a quarter of business managers consider themselves both unable to increase their production in case of additional orders and facing difficulties due to a lack of personnel … Finally, the share of business managers unable to increase their production and facing supply difficulties has slightly diminished,” the report states.

In August, fewer companies than in July say they will increase their prices over the next three months, but more firms surveyed consider their order books to be higher than usual. With their staff size, building contractors say their order books provide them with 8.7 months of work.

The French rebar market has gone through a weak period over the past two months, with orders limited and mills extending their maintenance stoppages into September to reduce output. Uncertainty is causing buyers to reduce purchases and adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

Natalia Capra France