Économie et Statistique n° 395-396 - 2006Business Tendency Surveys
Competitiveness in the Quarterly Business Tendency Survey in Industry
INSEE's Business Tendency Survey in industry constitutes an interesting source of information on the competitiveness of manufacturing firms. In this paper we aim at evaluating the quality of this information. At an individual level, a rise in competitiveness appears significantly correlated with an increase in sales and production and a reduction in intermediate consumption costs and labour costs. However, these correlations concern raw values rather than relative values in relation to the sector in which they produce. This observation suggests that variations in the competitiveness expressed by entrepreneurs reflect above all the short-term economic changes with which the business is faced, rather than a true modification of its competitive position. At the aggregate level, the balance of opinion on the evolution of competitiveness in the Business Survey seems, however, to follow quite closely the variations of some conventional indicators such as labour productivity or exchange rate, as well as indicators of costs relatively to the costs of competing foreign products.