In July 2016, the economic climate has improved according to civil engineering contractorsQuaterly survey of public works - July 2016

According to the business managers surveyed in July 2016, the economic climate in civil engineering has improved.

According to the business managers surveyed in July 2016, the economic climate in civil engineering has improved.

Business managers' opinion about their activity has recovered

In July 2016, more business managers than in April report an increase in their past and expected activity. For public sector or private sector projects, the balances on past and expected activity has recovered and become, with the exception of past activity for public-sector projects, above their long-term average. The balance of opinion on expected activity has come back to its level of April 2011.

Low obstacles to production

Obstacles to production remain very low: only 7% of businesses indicate being hampered because of a workforce shortage, against 14% on long-term average. Concerning order books, despite an improvement of the corresponding balance of opinion compared with April, a large share of business managers still consider their order books lower than normal for this period of the year. The corresponding balance stays far below its long-term average.

Expected workforce has improved

In July 2016, the balance of opinion on expected workforce has recovered. It has come back above its long-term average and has returned to its level of April 2012.

tableau1_2 – Public works economic outlook

Balances of opinion, in %, SA
Public works economic outlook
Mean* Oct. 15 Jan. 16 April 16 July 16
Past activity –7 –36 –16 –24 –2
- public-sector project –13 –49 –32 –36 –18
- private-sector project –12 –17 –9 –16 4
Expected activity –15 –12 –16 –19 1
- public-sector project –18 –23 –27 –33 –6
- private-sector project –17 –4 –3 –15 2
Opinion on order books –27 –57 –57 –57 –41
Obstacles to production increase because of workforce shortage (in %) 14 3 3 4 7
Expected workforce –17 –38 –23 –25 –7
  • 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

Activity – Activity tendency in public works