CAPE TOWN - The FNB/BER Building Confidence Index has increased by only 4index points to 29points in the second quarter of 2019 from the eight-year low that it had reached in the first three months of this year. 

Even with the improvement, the current level indicates that more than 70percent of respondents were dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions, FNB property economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi said in a statement yesterday. 

“A somewhat higher confidence among main contractors was supported by a mild improvement in building activity. That said, activity still remains very weak,” he said. 

During the quarter, four of the six sub-sectors have registered higher confidence led by sub-contractors. The confidence of architects remained unchanged, while that of quantity surveyors was lower. 

The confidence of main contractors has risen to 30points from 23points. Sub-contractor activity growth has remained weak, although confidence among them doubled to 43points from 21points in the first quarter. Mkhwanazi said confidence might retreat again the next quarter, “as there is nothing in this quarter’s survey data to support their higher optimism”. 

Sub-contractors were later in the building pipeline than main contractors, and it would be unusual to see the sub-contractor market improve without having first seen better conditions among main contractors. Architect confidence was unchanged at 36 points.  

BUSINESS REPORT