While 2022 has been a particularly difficult year for craft building companies, which have evolved in a tense context that is straining their capacity for resilience, decisive actions have been taken by CAPEB to preserve activity in the sector. In 2023, the Confederation intends to continue its strong mobilization with a watchword: to allow its 61.000 member companies to find serenity in the exercise of their profession.
A challenging year 2022 on several counts
The year 2022, marked by the sharp and continuous rise in the cost of building materials (+27% between January 2022 and January 2023), energy prices (fuel, gas, electricity, etc.), as well as supply difficulties, has plunged craft building companies into a situation of unprecedented economic uncertainty.
Despite dynamic overall growth (2,4% over the year), activity in the sector continued to slow throughout 2022. The growth in building trade activity is thus fell from 3,5% in the 1st quarter to 3% in the 2nd quarter, before decreasing to 2% in the 3rd quarter and 1% in the last quarter. This trend is observable in all regions of France and for all trades.
Companies reporting cash needs are more numerous (22%), the balance of opinion on the evolution of margins is deteriorating again (standing at -42 points) and insolvencies are accelerating over one year in the third quarter of 2022 (+42,3%) This slowdown is also continuing at the start of 2023, in accordance with CAPEB forecasts, which anticipates probably sluggish growth as a result of the degraded context.
Capital advances obtained to preserve the activity of craft building companies...
Following very closely the evolution of the activity of its companies, the CAPEB very early warned of the consequences of these increases on the growth of the sector and showed itself to be forceful of proposals to maintain the activity. Many of them came to fruition thanks in particular to attentive listening to the government.
Thus, CAPEB can put to its credit the obtaining of the setting up of a materials price observatory, the holding of building meetings, the launch of a mission of reflection on the transparency of the prices practiced within the construction industry by the Economic Affairs Commission of the National Assembly, the tariff shield for companies with less than 10 employees and the creation of an unprecedented movement of economic solidarity.
… to be put into perspective with disappointments which accentuate dissatisfaction on the ground
On the ground, craft building companies are caught up in the inertia of public authorities regarding the concrete implementation of announced decisions as well as contradictory injunctions which further restrict their activity and accentuate their dissatisfaction.
Many projects have remained unresolved: the simplification of the CEE and MPR systems, the experimentation with “the guides for the pros” within the framework of the OSCAR programme. Others have taken a path contrary to the announced decision, leading to further complicating the daily lives of companies: CAPEB's request to do everything possible to fight against the fraud of eco-offenders has resulted in the field in a strengthening of checks on virtuous companies. That aimed at simplifying the Ma Prime Rénov' system has resulted in an incredible extension of the payment period which penalizes both companies and their customers.
For Jean-Christophe Repon, President of CAPEB: “The number of announced decisions that have still not been implemented is unacceptable and harms our business. As the leading professional organization in terms of members (61.000), we are in direct contact with the field and the proposals we make respond directly to the needs expressed to us by our companies. All year, we alerted, challenged on the worrying situation that we were going through. Our forecasts turned out to be accurate, the growth of our business continued to slow down to end with an almost flat balance sheet. We are at a turning point, we are asking the government to act. »
Objective 2023: regain serenity
If 2023 opens with a first victory in terms of pension reform, since the red lines that CAPEB has drawn up with U2P as part of the reform project have generally been taken into account, and it will be able to be vigilant as to their application.
Despite everything, the year promises to be full of uncertainties and concerns.
The battles to be waged to maintain and restore growth in the sector remain numerous and will be at the forefront of CAPEB's action. Very concrete proposals are already on the table, starting with those that will boost energy renovation:
- facilitate the implementation of Temporary Groups of Companies for construction workers in order to facilitate the access of construction workers to larger-scale works and meet customer expectations on global energy renovation,
- generalize VAT at 5,5% to all renovation work,
- create a "green" guaranteed loan in 3 clicks to finance the colossal investment required for energy renovation.
In addition to these initial proposals, CAPEB will remain mobilized on two major social issues:
- the issue of employer representativeness, a subject that remains crucial for the recognition of craft building companies.
- the question of the representativeness of employee organizations for peaceful social dialogue in the building sector.
A year 2023 punctuated by major highlights for CAPEB
Finally, 2023 will also be a year rich in highlights. The CAPEB will organize several major unmissable events which will place the essential role of the craft building company at the heart of the debates:
- February 2: Meetings on the essential alliance between Generation Z and craft building companies
- February 16: Meetings on the affirmation of their role in the renovation of heritage.
- April 14: CAPEB Congress which will promote the societal role of the craft building company and its relevance as a model for the future.
- May 24: Meetings around the issue of building renovation
- June 20, 21 and 22: Professional Construction Days in Lille
- September 12 and 13: Renodays, in which CAPEB will participate as a leader in renovation.
Find the economic report for the 4th quarter of 2022 and study on price increases