Craft of the building : it gets better, but treasuries remain strained

CONDITIONS. According to the latest economic bulletin of Capeb, the activity in the craft of building has risen by 1.5% in the first quarter of 2017. But the organization’s alert on the increase of the cash flow needs of companies, and the fact that some banks do not accompany always the economic recovery.
The Confederation of crafts and small enterprises of the building (Capeb) maintains its growth forecast for 2017, to +1.5 or +2%. It is, in particular, reflected in the latest economic bulletin published by the organization on 14 April. If artisans remain confident, this is because the figures for the 1st quarter confirms the recovery of global activity began in 2016. This is the fifth consecutive quarter of growth in the sector.


Indeed, at the beginning of the year, Capeb has recorded an increase in activity of 1.5%, 2.5% for the nine and 1% for maintenance and renovation. “The good news is that the energy renovation continues to increase, with a +2%”, observes with contentment Patrick Liébus from Batiactu. A consequence of this recovery, employment is rising, but so excessively shy for the moment : +0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016.


“Banks should return to their fundamental”


The order books are spread out on a visibility average of 86 days in April 2017, which is ten days more than a year ago. But when the projects come, it must also fund them : thus, the average need for cash increases, falling to 20,000 euros, while it was 16,000 there are still a few months. “When the activity restarts, we need money”, explains Patrick Liébus. “We regret that the banks do we not always follow, because to assess the health of the business, they are looking in priority the results of the previous year, rather than our order books to fill. I made this note to all the presidential candidates I have encountered : if one wants to restart the mechanical, it is necessary that the banks return to their core, with our customers and with companies. As a company that does home building, but that does not have the cash, it is a business in danger.”

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