In July 2017, the economic climate improves sharply in the building crafts sectorQuarterly survey of the building crafts sector - July 2017

In July 2017, many more building craftsmen than in April have indicated an increase in their past activity. The corresponding balance stands well above its long-term average. After falling back in April 2017, the balance on expected activity has recovered in July and has exceeded its long-term average even more. Craftsmen are more and more optimistic concerning the general business outlook in the building sector; the corresponding balance has jumped in July and has reached a level unseen since April 2001, well above its long-term average.

Craftsmen's opinion on general business outlook improves sharply

In July 2017, many more building craftsmen than in April have indicated an increase in their past activity. The corresponding balance stands well above its long-term average. After falling back in April 2017, the balance on expected activity has recovered in July and has exceeded its long-term average even more. Craftsmen are more and more optimistic concerning the general business outlook in the building sector; the corresponding balance has jumped in July and has reached a level unseen since April 2001, well above its long-term average.

More craftsmen plan to recruit

More craftsmen than in April 2017 forecast to raise their staff size over the next few months. The corresponding balance of opinion has risen by three points and has reached its highest level since April 2001, markedly exceeding its long-term average. Roughly as many craftsmen as in April have indicated an increase in their past staff size. The corresponding balance remains well above its long-term average.

A little more than one business out of three has recruiting problems

In July 2017, 36% of craftsmen have experienced recruiting problems, more than last quarter but fewer than on long-term average (41%). At the same time, 38% of craftsmen have indicated training apprentices, this share returning to its long-term average.

Table1 – Building crafts sector economic outlook

Balances of opinion, in %, SA
Building crafts sector economic outlook
Mean* Oct. 16 Jan. 17 April 17 July 17
Past activity –6 –8 –2 –3 7
Expected activity –9 –12 1 –4 –1
General business outlook –21 –12 –8 –4 7
Past employment –4 –2 –5 0 1
Expected employment –4 –5 –2 2 5
Recruiting problems (in %) 41 29 30 33 36
Apprentice training (in %) 38 35 35 37 38
  • * Mean since October 1990.
  • Source: French business survey, building crafts sector – INSEE

Graph1 – Activity tendency in the building crafts sector