Insee
Informations rapides · 26 January 2021 · n° 022
Informations rapidesIn January 2021, the opinion of business managers in civil engineering on their activity prospects has improved slightlyQuaterly survey of public works - January 2021

In January 2021, the business managers are slightly less pessimistic about their activity prospects for the next three months than they were in last October.

Informations rapides
No 022
Paru le : Paru le 26/01/2021

In January 2021, the business managers are slightly less pessimistic about their activity prospects for the next three months than they were in last October.

Business managers are less negative than in October on their upcoming activity

In January 2021, more business managers than in October have indicated an expected increase in their activity for the next three months. The corresponding balance of opinion has increased but remains below its long-term average. It has recovered quite strongly for the private-sector clients but remains virtually stable for the public-sector clients.

The business managers have indicated a relative weakening in their recent activity: after a rebound in October 2020 in comparison to the very low point of July, the corresponding balance of opinion has fallen back slightly in January 2021. It has returned slightly below its long-term average. This balance has fallen for both private-sector clients and public-sector ones. However, the balance related to private-sector clients remains above its long-term average.

The order books continue to be considered poorly filled

In January 2021, the business managers continue to consider that their order books are rather poorly filled: the corresponding balance of opinion has risen slightly but remains at a very low level, well below its long-term average.

Production bottlenecks due to lack of manpower are unchanged

In January 2021, the obstacles to production due to workforce shortage are as significant as in October 2020. 20% of firms have reported being hampered because of workforce shortage. This share, above its long-term average, is however half of what it was in January 2020 (40%).

Employment prospects have improved compared to October 2020

In January 2021, more business managers than in October 2020 have planed to increase their workforce in the next three months. The corresponding balance stands above its long-term average. It remains nevertheless well below its level before the onset of the health crisis.

Public works economic outlook

Balances of opinion, in %, SA
Public works economic outlook (Balances of opinion, in %, SA) - NA: not available
Mean.* Apr. 20 July 20 Oct. 20 Jan. 21
Past activity -5 NA -86 -4 -7
- public-sector project -11 NA -88 -17 -22
- private-sector project -9 NA -84 -1 -5
Expected activity -12 NA 14 -25 -19
- public-sector project -16 NA 4 -33 -31
- private-sector project -15 NA 9 -24 -17
Opinion on order books -24 NA -37 -36 -33
Obstacles to production increase because of workforce shortage (in %) 16 NA 13 20 20
Expected workforce -13 NA -9 -9 -5
  • 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
  • NA: not available
  • Source: French business survey, building crafts sector – INSEE and FNTP

Activity tendency in civil engineering

Activity tendency in civil engineering
Past activity Expected activity
2007-Q1 39.0 16.9
2007-Q2 39.7 21.5
2007-Q3 36.2 13.9
2007-Q4 22.8 14.6
2008-Q1 20.1 2.7
2008-Q2 16.3 -16.0
2008-Q3 -10.8 -26.0
2008-Q4 -30.5 -47.6
2009-Q1 -55.3 -50.6
2009-Q2 -48.8 -52.0
2009-Q3 -50.5 -34.0
2009-Q4 -33.3 -16.1
2010-Q1 -23.1 -16.7
2010-Q2 -33.7 -20.5
2010-Q3 -15.9 -23.9
2010-Q4 -7.9 -17.9
2011-Q1 -32.5 0.0
2011-Q2 36.8 2.3
2011-Q3 26.5 0.1
2011-Q4 8.6 -4.3
2012-Q1 7.0 -12.4
2012-Q2 -12.9 -6.8
2012-Q3 -22.6 -7.6
2012-Q4 -9.8 -26.5
2013-Q1 -11.3 -13.3
2013-Q2 -18.4 -13.5
2013-Q3 -7.4 -11.9
2013-Q4 3.3 -15.6
2014-Q1 -4.2 -25.6
2014-Q2 4.2 -30.4
2014-Q3 -45.6 -48.4
2014-Q4 -60.3 -54.5
2015-Q1 -59.9 -42.3
2015-Q2 -50.2 -43.5
2015-Q3 -41.0 -31.7
2015-Q4 -37.5 -15.0
2016-Q1 -18.5 -15.6
2016-Q2 -16.8 -15.4
2016-Q3 -5.6 -1.0
2016-Q4 9.4 -5.5
2017-Q1 11.6 3.3
2017-Q2 28.8 19.5
2017-Q3 37.4 27.5
2017-Q4 29.3 32.5
2018-Q1 37.1 22.7
2018-Q2 29.4 32.3
2018-Q3 31.5 26.3
2018-Q4 38.4 28.6
2019-Q1 34.1 26.0
2019-Q2 39.1 22.0
2019-Q3 32.5 16.3
2019-Q4 23.0 13.8
2020-Q1 20.6 -4.0
2020-Q2 NaN NaN
2020-Q3 -86.5 14.3
2020-Q4 -4.0 -25.2
2021-Q1 -7.4 -19.0
  • Data for the second quarter of 2020 are not available, the response rate to this survey was greatly affected in April in the context of the health crisis.

Activity tendency in civil engineering

  • Data for the second quarter of 2020 are not available, the response rate to this survey was greatly affected in April in the context of the health crisis.
  • Sources: FNTP and INSEE.

For further information

A balance of opinion is calculated as the difference between the percentage of “increase” responses and the percentage of “decrease” responses.

Additional information (simplified and detailed methodology, nomenclature, etc.) is available on the “Documentation” tab of this page.

Next issue: 27 April 2021 at 12:00 am

A balance of opinion is calculated as the difference between the percentage of “increase” responses and the percentage of “decrease” responses.

Additional information (simplified and detailed methodology, nomenclature, etc.) is available on the “Documentation” tab of this page.

Next issue: 27 April 2021 at 12:00 am


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