The previous period of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic shows that construction is a sector of the economy which, despite initial fears, endures the “lockdown” period quite well.
Data on construction and assembly production published by GUS confirm this thesis. The 3.7% y-o-y increase in March indicates that restrictions on construction sites did not lead to the freezing of construction work. Relatively favourable signals are also received from construction companies that the construction materials industry has not panicked for the time being, even in April, and there is no significant decrease in construction activity.
At the beginning of April, PMR conducted a short survey among its clients and partners from four business sectors: Retail, Pharma/Healthcare, Construction, IT/ICT.
The survey was of a quantitative and qualitative nature (standardized interview on a targeted sample of selected companies). It was conducted with decision-makers and competent representatives of companies, among which 3/4 of the surveyed were presidents or representatives in top management / management of companies. In total 109 companies were surveyed,
The study shows that:
As many as 86% of the surveyed companies from the construction sector currently operate without restrictions, adapting to the prevailing conditions. Companies from the sector more often indicate that they limit their activity (11%) than they expand it (3%) in the current crisis conditions. When restrictions appear, on average they are defined as reaching 30% (in relation to activities before the crisis). The most problematic element of activity for companies from the sector is limiting demand and limiting investments.
Compared to the sectors directly affected by the pandemic, there is no significant reduction in sales in the construction industry – 45% of companies observe a relatively small decrease in sales (15-20% decrease).
However, the following months may bring a greater slowdown – already 87% of construction companies surveyed by PMR expect a drop in sales in Q2 2020 (at around 20%).
Nearly 3/4 of the companies are withholding or giving up their planned investments in the organization.
Apart from negative factors, the companies surveyed by PMR also see some positive aspects of the current situation. The factors which will have a positive impact on the construction market in the future include the acceleration of digital transformation processes, new ways of working, digitalization of certain processes, as well as the expected process of selecting natural players (“the better survive, the worse will fall off”), or the broadly understood decline in imports in the construction environment (an impulse and potential for production growth in Poland).