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In September 2017, the business climate is stable in the building construction industryMonthly survey of building - September 2017

According to the business managers in the building construction industry surveyed in September 2017, the business climate is stable. After decreasing by one point in August, the composite indicator is steady at 104, well above its long-term average (100).

Informations rapides N° 251
No 251
Principaux indicateurs
Paru le : 26/09/2017
Prochaine parution le : 25/09/2018 at 08:45 - September 2018

According to the business managers in the building construction industry surveyed in September 2017, the business climate is stable. After decreasing by one point in August, the composite indicator is steady at 104, well above its long-term average (100).

Graph1 – Business climate composite indicator

The turning point indicator remains in the favourable outlook zone.

Graph2 – Turning-point indicator

  • Note: close to 1 (respectively –1), it indicates a favourable climate (respectively unfavourable). The uncertainty area is between −0.3 and +0.3

Many more business managers have indicated an increase in their past activity

In September 2017, many more business managers than in the previous month have indicated an increase in their past activity. The corresponding balance has bounced back sharply and stands far above its long-term average. On the other hand, the balance of opinion on expected activity has decreased but remains well above its long-term average.

Graph3 – Activity tendency in building construction

Table1 – Building industry economic outlook

Balances of opinion, in %, SA
Building industry economic outlook
Mean* June 17 July 17 Aug. 17 Sept. 17
Composite indicator 100 104 105 104 104
Past activity –4 10 5 2 7
Expected activity –6 3 11 12 8
Gen. business outlook –18 13
Past employment –6 –5 –2 –8 –8
Expected employment –5 3 6 3 3
Opinion on order books –24 –24 –21 –20 –22
Order books (in month) 5.5 7.2 7.4 7.3 7.4
Production capacity utilisation rate 88.4 87.9 88.5 88.4 88.3
Obstacles to production increase (in %) 32 29 31 30 26
- Because of workforce shortage (in %) 13.8 7.1 9.4 9.7 9.3
Recruiting problems (in %) 57 55
Expected prices –15 –13 –6 –8 –5
Cash-flow position –10 –9
Repayment period 29 20
  • * Mean since April 1975 for the composite indicator and since
  • September 1993 for the balances of opinion.
  • Source: INSEE, French business survey in the building industry

Business managers' opinion on staff size is unchanged

In September 2017, as many business managers as in August have indicated an increase in their staff size over the last three months. The corresponding balance is stable below its long-term average. As many business managers as in August plan to recruit: the balance on expected staff size, positive since June 2017, is stable well above its long-term average.

Graph4 – Workforce size tendency in building construction

Order books are slightly less filled

In September 2017, slightly fewer business managers than in August consider that their order books are well filled for the period. The corresponding balance of opinion has decreased for the first time since March 2017. It remains however above its long-term average. With their present staff size, business managers consider that their order books provide 7.4 months of work, a level slighlty higher than last month and clearly above its long-term average (5.5 months).

Graph5 – Order books

Production capacity is slightly less used again

While it had increased continuously between March and July 2017, the production capacity utilisation rate has decreased slightly in September 2017 for the second consecutive month. It stands at 88.3% and has returned just below its long-term average (88.4%). Among business managers, 26% have reported production bottlenecks, a share significantly lower than last month and than its long-term average.

Graph6 – Production capacity utilisation rate

More business managers plan to increase their prices

In September 2017, more business managers than in August have indicated that they would increase their prices over the next three months. The corresponding balance has reached its highest level for nine years and stands clearly above its long-term average.