French construction suggests favourable economic outlook

The French construction sector’s performance steadied month-on-month in August, according to a l’Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (Insee) report monitored by Kallanish. This followed an improved May performance and an equally steady June and July.

In August far fewer companies than in the previous month indicated an increase in activity over the last three months. However, business managers are more optimistic about their activity prospects, the report suggests.

In August more respondents than in July reported an increase in their staff size over the last three months, and employment prospects have improved. The balance of opinion on anticipated recruitment has recovered this month, the report reveals.

As many business managers as in the previous month considered their order-books to be well-filled. Companies assess their order-books as providing eight months of work, slightly higher than in July and higher than the long-term average of 5.6 months. Overall, current construction industry order-books indicate a favourable short-term economic outlook, Kallanish notes.

Construction production capacity utilisation increased slightly in August. At the same time, 45% of companies reported production bottlenecks due to workforce shortages, a slight increase compared to July.

Less companies than in July will increase their prices over the next three months, the Insee survey found.