In April 2017, the economic climate improves again in the building crafts sectorQuarterly survey of the building crafts sector - April 2017

In April 2017, practically as many building craftsmen as in January indicate an increase in their past activity. The corresponding balance remains above its long-term average. Likewise, the balance on expected activity is virtually stable. It stands well above its long-term average. Craftsmen are more and more optimistic concerning the general business outlook in the building sector; the corresponding balance has increased by five points and stands at its highest level since October 2007, well above its long-term average.

Craftsmen's general business outlook keeps improving

In April 2017, practically as many building craftsmen as in January indicate an increase in their past activity. The corresponding balance remains above its long-term average. Likewise, the balance on expected activity is virtually stable. It stands well above its long-term average. Craftsmen are more and more optimistic concerning the general business outlook in the building sector; the corresponding balance has increased by five points and stands at its highest level since October 2007, well above its long-term average.

Many more craftsmen plan to recruit

Many more craftsmen than in January 2017 forecast to raise their staff size over the next few months. The corresponding balance of opinion has risen by five points and exceeds clearly its long-term average. Likewise, many more craftsmen than in January indicate an increase in their past staff size. The corresponding balance has gone above its long-term average.

One business out of three has recruiting problems

In April 2017, 34% of craftsmen have experienced recruiting problems, far more than last quarter but far fewer than the long-term average (41%). At the same time, 37% of craftsmen indicate training apprentices, a share close to its long-term average again (38%).

Table1 – Building crafts sector economic outlook

Balances of opinion, in %, SA
Building crafts sector economic outlook
Mean* July 16 Oct. 16 Jan. 17 April 17
Past activity –6 –8 –8 –2 –3
Expected activity –9 –5 –12 1 0
General business outlook –21 –13 –12 –8 –3
Past employment –4 –5 –2 –5 –1
Expected employment –4 –3 –5 –2 3
Recruiting problems (in %) 41 28 29 30 34
Apprentice training (in %) 38 38 35 35 37
  • * Mean since October 1990.
  • Source: French business survey, building crafts sector - INSEE

Graph1 – Activity tendency in the building crafts sector