More French business managers report increase in past staff sizeStaff Writer | April 24, 2018
According to the business managers in the building construction industry surveyed in April 2018, the business climate is stable. The composite indicator remains at 107, well above its long-term average (100).
France Optimism has strengthened
However, their optimism has strengthened for the next few months: the balance on expected activity has risen again, exceeding more largely its long-term average.
However, business managers are less upbeat than in January 2018 about the general outlook of the sector. The corresponding balance has slipped back after having reached in January 2018 a level unseen since October 2000.
In April 2018, more business managers than in March have indicated an increase in their staff size over the last three months. The corresponding balance has increased again and exceeds its long-term average even more.
On the contrary, the balance of opinion on expected employment has edged down after a strong rebound in March, while remaining well above its long-term average.
In April 2018, fewer business managers than in March 2018 consider that their order books are well filled for the period. The corresponding balance of opinion has decreased but remains markedly above its long-term average.
With their present staff size, business managers consider that their order books provide 7.4 months of work, practically as in the previous month and clearly above the long-term average (5.5 months).
The production capacity utilisation rate has increased in April 2018 after being stable in March. At 89.5%, it stands above its long-term average (88.5%).
At the same time, 33% of business managers have indicated production bottlenecks, roughly as many as in the long term average.
Otherwise, the share of business managers encountering recruiting problems has been increasing continuously since October 2016.
It has increased sharply again in April 2018 and has reached 67%, its highest level since January 2009 and well above its long-term average (57%). ■