France’s construction activity declined to 49.4 in July from an expansion of 53.8 in the prior month, due to a reduction in new business orders, according to the latest IHS Markit Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data on Thursday.
According to sub-indices of the headline figure, the PMI data revealed contractions in two of the three monitored sub-sectors, namely, commercial construction, and house building, with the latter recording the sharpest rates of decline.
July’s data pointed to a further deterioration in demand conditions faced by French construction companies, with new business falling for the sixth consecutive month as clients were still hesitant to commit to future projects amid uncertainty surrounding the duration of COVID-19.
Unsurprisingly, the purchasing activity of raw materials declined in line with headline figures, though French firms were optimistic about the 12-month construction outlook. This was the first sign of growth in confidence since the affliction of the COVID-19 pandemic on the French economy.