The business situation of regional craft enterprises is encouraging in the spring of 2014. This is the result of a business survey conducted by the Chamber of Skilled Crafts and Small Businesses. Craftsmen in the commercial sector perform best.
After last year's long, cold winter took its toll on the skilled trades, there were no seasonal braking effects due to weather-related downtime at the beginning of this year in the region. Currently, 84 percent of the regional craft enterprises assess their business situation of the 1. quarter with good or satisfactory (previous year: 75 percent) with optimistic expectations. 93 percent of respondents say they expect business to be good or satisfactory in the coming quarter. Based on the positive assessments of the business situation, this results in a peak value with regard to the business climate index of 91 points. Last spring, the business confidence index was only 80 points.
In an industry comparison, the commercial supply trades (z. B. Metalworkers, precision mechanics, electricians), measured by the mood of the business situation assessments, the best off. Nevertheless, the positive sentiment is based on a broad foundation across the different sectors.
Good construction activity continues
In the construction trades (bricklayers and concrete workers, carpenters, roofers, scaffolding erectors, etc.), the number of good and satisfactory business situation assessments was the second highest in the spring survey.), 89 percent (previous year: 80 percent) of the companies surveyed indicated a good or satisfactory business situation. The ongoing good construction economy, which continues to benefit from low mortgage interest rates and subsidized energy-efficient renovation measures, continues. Overall, 61 percent (up from 56 percent) of businesses report having a good occupancy rate above 70 percent. In conjunction with this, the current order backlog should be viewed very positively. Construction businesses report an average backlog of 15.2 weeks of work.
Of the finishing trades, 77 percent (previous year: 73 percent) of respondents assess the business situation of the 1. Quarter with good or satisfactory. Capacity utilization is also up from the previous year, with 63 percent (previous year: 54 percent) reporting capacity utilization above 70 percent. Only the average order lead time of 7.6 weeks is slightly lower than a year ago (previous year: 8.6 weeks), although the economic outlook is good. 93 percent expect a good or satisfactory business situation in the future.
Motor vehicle industry expects upswing in next quarter
The area of trades for commercial needs (z. B. In this year's economic survey in the Trier chamber district, the metalworking, precision mechanics and electrical engineering trades achieved the highest survey value in their assessment of the current business situation. 94 percent (previous year: 76 percent) of establishments give good and satisfactory business situation assessments. Demand dynamics have improved compared to the previous year, 76 percent (previous year: 67 percent) of the companies have a good operating rate.
Sentiment in the motor vehicle industry is much more subdued compared to other industries. Currently, 44 percent (previous year: 69 percent) give a good or satisfactory business situation assessment, with the upcoming tire change business providing for more optimistic expectations. 89% of companies already expect a good and satisfactory business situation for the coming quarter.
Good capacity utilization in all areas
Food trades have the second-highest rating in the spring survey, with 91 percent (up from 71 percent last year) rating their business situation as good or satisfactory. Additionally, 78 percent of food artisans feel their current order book is normal to above average. In the healthcare trades, 80 percent (previous year: 73 percent) assess the business situation positively. The mood has thus once again improved slightly compared to the previous year. The range of craftsmen for personal needs (z.B. Hair salons, beauty salons, dry cleaners, photographers) 90 percent (previous year: 77 percent) give good and satisfactory business situation assessments with consumer confidence remaining stable.
Across industries, sales trends are good for this time of year. 65 percent (previous year: 52 percent) of businesses report increased or at least the same sales compared to the previous quarter, and 86 percent expect the same for the coming quarter. 62 percent (previous year: 54 percent) of the companies reported good capacity utilization (over 70 percent) across all areas, with an average order range of 10.6 weeks (previous year: 8.3 weeks).
Trade economy benefits from good weather conditions
The percentage of establishments that made investments in the last quarter is 36 percent, slightly higher than the previous year (31 percent), with an increased investment budget. Employment figures remain at a good level in the region. 9 percent of establishments employed more staff compared to the previous quarter, and even though the good weather did not lead to weather-related downtime, 21 percent laid off staff (previous year: 8 percent hired, 19 percent laid off).
For the coming quarter, however, 94 percent of all companies expect staffing levels to remain the same or even increase. The chamber of trade Trier draws the conclusion: The handicraft economy moves also owing to the good weather on a good level, with optimistic expectations for the coming quarter.