Confidence down in third quarter

2011-09-29 00:00

THE latest building industry confidence index released yesterday by FNB and the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) has confirmed the depressed state of the building sector.

The FNB/BER building industry confidence index was 23 in the third quarter of 2011 compared with 24 in the previous quarter, with the non-residential sector showing a mild improvement.

The confidence of residential building contractors remained depressed due to an oversupply in residential stock.

FNB chief economist Dr Cees Bruggemans told The Witness yesterday that although building activity is evident in certain areas, like office space and rural retail centres, the rest of the building sector remains depressed.

The non-residential building sector is plagued by high vacancy rates.

Bruggemans said credit access remains constrained while global economic jitters have added to already vulnerable business confidence levels. “People are planning very carefully and are reluctant to commit to new projects in the current climate.”

The index gauges the opinions of architects, quantity surveyors, building material merchants and manufacturers, contractors and sub-contractors.

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