Accounts published by craftsmen have been exploding for several months. While many French people want to start working from home, prices are rising at a pace that is hard to keep up with. We explain the reasons for the current epidemic.
“We can no longer commit to prices.” I’m a plumber-plasterer in Gard, Fatah is disappointed. The craftsman has not seen this in his decades-old craft. “We no longer have fixed prices for raw materials, he explains. One day we go to the supplier, and the next day we don’t even know the prices we will find. And even then, when we don’t know, don’t tell us about the coming shortage…”
Difficulties that are familiar to all construction professionals and that are rooted in the current instability of the world. “The economic and geopolitical context continues to be a source of great concern for companies engaged in the construction of trades. They are affected by the consequences of the war in Ukraine, as well as many others, especially in terms of supplies and prices,” said Le Monde. craftsmen Jean-Christophe Repon, president of the Association of Craftsmen and Small Construction Companies (CAPEB).
Double-digit inflation in all sectors
According to figures from media dedicated to professional news, the epidemic affects all sectors. Thus, according to the average of the first four months of 2022, “the most significant increase was recorded in carpentry-locksmithing (+21.5%), followed by masonry (+19.4%), roofing-plumbing-heating (+17%), and fittings -decoration-plaster and electricity (+16.4%)”.
In the context of strong demand since the end of the health crisis and overall growth in the construction sector, this explosion in raw material prices is mainly weighing on buyers’ budgets. “Without more profit, my offers are 30 to 40% more expensive”, says Fatah, who points out that his bills are burdened by the increase in fuel prices. “The big guys always manage to negotiate their stock, but the independents pay a heavy price.”
60% of companies say they have accepted a price increase
The craftsman from Gard is convinced, “the rhythm is too high, at some point it will explode”. But when? Impossible to know. Therefore, the plumber-plaster advises his clients to make a quick decision in order to “prematurely block” the supply of raw materials. “We know what we have one day, but we don’t know the prices we’ll find the next day.”
From a global perspective, according to figures from the world of crafts, 60% of companies recently said that they are passing on rising costs to consumers. “A number to consider from the sheer weight of purchasing materials and equipment represents 30% of the company’s costs in the construction industry,” reminds of the world of craftsmen.