In April 2016, the economic climate has edged down according to civil engineering contractorsQuaterly survey of public works - April 2016

According to the business managers surveyed in April 2016, the economic climate in civil engineering has got worse anew, after an improvement in the beginning of the year.

According to the business managers surveyed in April 2016, the economic climate in civil engineering has got worse anew, after an improvement in the beginning of the year.

Business managers' opinion about their activity have got worse

In April 2016, more business managers than in January report a fall in their past and expected activity. For public-sector or private-sector projects, the balances on past activity has fallen back after rising continuously since October 2014. The balances of opinion on expected activity has decreased again. Overall, balances on activity are below their long-term average but above their level in average of 2015.

Very low obstacles to production

Obstacles to production remain very low: only 4% of businesses indicate being hampered because of a workforce shortage, against 14% on long-term average. A large share of business managers consider their order books lower than normal for this period of the year. The corresponding balance has stagnated at a level far below its long-term average.

Pessimism about expected workforce trend

The balance of opinion on expected workforce has edged down in April 2016, after increasing steadily since April 2014. It remains below its long-term average.

tableau1_2 – Public works economic outlook

Balances of opinion, in %, SA
Public works economic outlook
Mean* July 15 Oct. 15 Jan. 16 April 16
Past activity –8 –38 –36 –16 –24
- public-sector project –13 –50 –49 –32 –36
- private-sector project –12 –27 –17 –9 –16
Expected activity –15 –30 –12 –16 –19
- public-sector project –18 –39 –23 –27 –33
- private-sector project –17 –19 –4 –3 –15
Opinion on order books –27 –67 –57 –57 –57
Obstacles to production increase because of workforce shortage (in %) 14 1 3 3 4
Expected workforce –17 –46 –38 –23 –25
  • 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