In 2022, craftsmen’s turnover increased with inflation

Does the craft business really know the energy crisis? Not sure with regard to the latest edition of the Xerfi Specific barometer on behalf of U2P, the Union of local businesses. Because if it experienced a slight loss of speed in the last quarter, the activity of craftsmen nevertheless managed to progress in 2022. These results also concern construction professionals, insofar as the Capeb (Confederation of crafts and small building companies) is a member of U2P.

Overall, local businesses therefore achieved growth of 4% over the period from October to December, ie a performance identical to that of the third quarter. Among all the professions represented by the employers’ organization, craftsmanship is one of the sectors of activity having recorded one of the strongest increases, up to 5.5%. Craft businesses have thus mainly contributed to the increase in the turnover of local traders.

The reason ? The rise in prices, as explained by Dominique Métayer, the president of U2P, who is also a craftsman mason and member of Capeb: “The growth of our proximity activities is largely the result of inflation. We must pass on as much as possible the additional costs that we incur in our prices in order to maintain an acceptable level of margins.”

Impact of additional costs on prices

For the start of 2023, around 27% of the professionals surveyed expect a drop in their turnover during the first quarter, while 12% are betting on an increase, i.e. the lowest level of opinion since the end of 2021. However, building tradesmen are not the most pessimistic, unlike companies in the food trade and hotels and restaurants.

All sectors combined, a quarter of entrepreneurs also say they have noticed a deterioration in their cash flow during the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to 14% who have noted an improvement. This last figure is nevertheless up from the third quarter, when it fell to 9%.

But the still very uncertain economic context is not likely to calm the concerns of professionals anytime soon. “Let’s stay focused on our priorities: skills needs and recruitment difficulties, energy costs, digital and ecological transitions”summarizes Dominique Métayer.

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