Trade in 2012 – No escape from the crisis
After two relatively positive years, trade was hit in 2012 by the slowdown in demand from households and businesses. The automobile trade sector was hardest hit: sales by volume in the sector fell by 6%. Activity slipped more moderately in wholesale trade (-0.4%, including wholesale intermediaries) and retail trade sales stagnated (+0.1%). Salaried employment in trade contracted between the end of 2011 and end of 2012 (-0.7%), as it did in the whole market sector (-0.6%). The slowdown in trade was mainly due to automobile sales and repair activity, with the decline observed in this sector since 2003 being accentuated in 2012 (-2.0%).