FNB-BER Building Confidence Index – 4th Quarter 2017

The FNB/BER Building Confidence Index fell to 31 in 4Q2017, from 35 in 3Q2017.  This marks the lowest confidence since 3Q2012. At the current level, the index indicates that the majority (nearly 70 per cent) of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions.

In Summary:

  • The FNB/BER Building Confidence Index shed 4 points to register a level of 31 in 4Q2017.
  • Four of the six sub-sectors reported lower confidence in the quarter, led by building material manufacturers.
  • Despite the fall in confidence, on balance, activity was broadly unchanged compared to 3Q2017, albeit still weak.
  • The survey suggests further weakness in building activity growth going into 2018, especially in the non-residential sector.

The subdued prospects for the non-residential market cloud the outlook for the overall building sector. Even if we have some sort of recovery in the general economy, it will take some time before it is reflected in new non-residential building activity simply because the existing oversupply first needs to be absorbed.

– John Loos, Property Economist, FNB