Wholesale/retail trade in 2011: continued recovery in sales
The recovery in French wholesale/retail trade begun in 2010 persisted in 2011. The strongest gains were in wholesaling, harder hit than the other categories by the crisis in 2009. Real sales growth quickened from 2.6% in 2010 to 3.8% in 2011. In the retail trade and the trade and repair of motor vehicles, sales rose 1.3% and 1.0% respectively, almost the same pace as in 2010. Retail sales continued to be driven by the non-food sector, whereas food sales remained stable. Wholesale/retail payroll employment rose 0.7% in 2011-slightly above the 0.4% average for all market sectors-but did not return to its 2008 level. Retail business creation decreased significantly, although the rise in the number of “self-entrepreneurs” (auto-entrepreneurs) continued to provide stimulus.