Despite the end of containment and resumption of activity, the impact of the coronavirus health crisis on the construction economy continues. The President of the National Public Works Federation (FNTP), Bruno Cavagné, emphasized this on Europe 1 microphone before the President of the Republic ‘s speech on 14 June 2020: the BTP is awaiting “an emergency recovery plan”. Zoom in on the concerns of a 2020 year that announces a possible construction economy collapse.
A particularly worrying situation
Global Data, an economic analyst company, predicted at the end of April that the entire global construction market will experience a decline of 1.4 per cent in 2020. Such statistics have certainly degraded because despite the number of disabled countries, worksites disrupted and orders canceled.
Across France, the sector employs two million people who have been able to slowly return to work, while upholding the precautionary steps now well known to all. Nevertheless, if the construction sites echo with unfinished work activity before March 17, it is anticipated that the crisis will persist for many years. A timidity of the orders in question.
In fact, the economic crisis is inevitable, and purchase orders are being abandoned by the project owners. The societies in particular whose amount of requests for tenders declines dramatically according to Bruno Cavagné ‘s comments. The fall raises fears of a lack of new projects for supplying businesses that will always need to bring in turnover urgently.
As of March, the government began a policy of support for the construction industry, thanks in particular to:
- EUR 8.2 billion in guaranteed loans to companies in the sector;
- 510 million euros donated to a solidarity fund
- the possibility of placing part-time jobs that cannot be kept in activity (the request was made for 1.4 million employees in March and April)
To support the recovery now that activity has (almost) fully resumed, new measures have been announced. The third amending finance bill of 2020 presented this June 10 in the Council of Ministers specifies several measures which concern:
- support for companies with fewer than 50 employees who may see charges canceled for several months;
- support for investment by local authorities to the tune of one billion euros;
- partial coverage of additional costs linked to precautionary and distancing measures on construction sites by public customers;
- assistance in recruiting apprentices;
- the possibility left to the condominiums to decide on work by videoconference.
A long-term desired recovery
According to its officials, the steps the government has taken so far to help and revive construction growth remain inadequate to save the industry. Furthermore, they were expecting strong announcements from the President of the Republic during his speech on 14 June 2020. There was, but which will be later specified.
The main hope lies in the stated desire of the head of state to combine ecology with building in the coming years. Our buildings’ energy efficiency and a transformation to a low-carbon economy (especially in the construction industry) are priority themes which should allow many companies to find a well-filled order book. Especially when political will is supported by public subsidies.
The September return to school will be a significant step in the announced recovery plan. The measures will have to be more concrete to enable those involved in construction to project their activity over the next few years and to restore confidence to potential customers: the priority real estate market, which could re-engage a large number of new programs and invest massively in the renovation of the old ones!