In January 2016, the economic climate a little less deteriorated according to civil engineering contractorsQuaterly survey of public works - January 2016

According to the business managers surveyed in January 2016, the economic climate in civil engineering in the end of 2015, has improved again.

According to the business managers surveyed in January 2016, the economic climate in civil engineering in the end of 2015, has improved again.

Business managers' opinion about their activity in the three past months has improved but their prospects for the first quarter 2016 have slightly weakened

In January 2016, fewer business manager than in the previous quarter report a fall in their past activity. The corresponding balance has increased significantly and has come closer to its long-term average. The balance of opinion on expected activity for the next three months has slightly fallent back after a continuing rise since October 2014. It remains close to its long-term average, above it for private-sector project but below it for public-sector project.

Very few obstacles to production

Obstacles to production remain very low: only 3% of businesses indicate being hampered because of a workforce shortage, against 15% on long-term average. The share of business managers who consider their order books as lower than normal for this period of the year is stable and the corresponding balance remains far below its long-term average.

Business managers are less pessimistic about expected workforce trend

In January 2016, fewer business manager than the previous quarter forecast a fall in their staff size. The corresponding balance has increased significantly gradually since April 2014, albeit remaining well below its long-term average.

tableau1_2 – Economic outlook in civil engineering

Balances of opinion, in %, SA
Economic outlook in civil engineering
Mean* April 15 July 15 Oct. 15 Jan. 16
Past activity –7 –58 –38 –36 –16
- public-sector project –13 –67 –50 –49 –32
- private-sector project –12 –40 –27 –17 –9
Expected activity –15 –47 –30 –12 –16
- public-sector project –18 –56 –39 –23 –27
- private-sector project –18 –36 –19 –4 –3
Opinion on order books –27 –68 –67 –57 –57
Obstacles to production increase because of workforce shortage (in %) 15 3 1 3 3
Expected workforce –17 –59 –46 –38 –23
  • Note: the balances of opinion by costumer may differ from the balance of the whole, because sometimes the firms don't distinguish public-sector project and private-sector project.
  • * Mean since January 1981
  • Sources: FNTP and INSEE

Activity – Activity tendency in public works

  • Sources: FNTP and INSEE