In the third quarter 2014, demand in the manufacturing industry declinedQuarterly business survey (goods-producing industries) - October 2014

In the third quarter 2014, global demand in the manufacturing industry, like foreign demand, declined. The corresponding balances stand now below their long-term average. Over the next three months, the industrialists have anticipated a stability of global demand and a new decrease of foreign demand.

Informations rapides
No 240
Paru le : 23/10/2014
Prochaine parution le : 24/01/2018 at 08:45 - January 2018

Demand

Deterioration of demand

In the third quarter 2014, global demand in the manufacturing industry, like foreign demand, declined. The corresponding balances stand now below their long-term average. Over the next three months, the industrialists have anticipated a stability of global demand and a new decrease of foreign demand.

Graphang1 – Balance of opinion of past change in demand

Production factors

Decreased pressure on production capacity

In October 2014, the industrialists have announced less tight production capacity. The productive capacity utilization rate (TUC) decreased by 1.2 points compared to the previous quarter. Since the third quarter 2008, it has remained below its average level: there are still more underused capacities in the manufacturing industry than there were on average between 1992 and 2007. The balance on production bottlenecks is nearly stable, at its long-term average.

Graphang2 – Change in the productive capacity utilisation rate

tableau1 – Industrialists' opinion: demand and production factors

Balance of opinion, in %
Industrialists' opinion: demand and production factors
Manufacturing industry Aver.* Jan. 14 Avril 14 Juil. 14 Oct. 14
Global demand
Past change 0 3 7 –5 –4
Future change 1 4 5 3 3
Foreign demand
Past change 3 8 5 2 –3
Future change 4 12 7 9 1
Production factors
Production bottlenecks (in %) 22 23 26 23 22
Assessment of productive capacity 14 10 12 16 16
Productive capacity utilisation rate (in %) 84,6 80,5 80,5 82,1 80,9
Difficulties of supply and demand
Difficulties of supply and demand 8 11 12 11 11
Difficulties of supply 20 17 14 16 16
Difficulties of demand 44 49 47 40 47
  • * : Long-term average since 1976.
  • The results of the last survey are preliminary.
  • Source : Quaterly business survey - Insee

Workforce

Slight decrease in the balances of opinion on workforce size

According to business managers, the rate of job losses in the industry is slightly higher compared to the previous quarter. However, the balance of opinion remains above its long-term average. Over the next few months, industrialists consider that the change in workforce size is unfavourable but the corresponding balance remains above its long-term average.

The percentage of companies experiencing hiring difficulties in the manufacturing industry is nearly stable and is slightly below its long-term average.

Graphang3 – Workforce size in the manufacturing industry

Wages and working time

According to the business managers in the manufacturing industry, wages increased by 0.3 % over the third quarter 2014.

The balance on the weekly working time slightly declined. Industrialists anticipate a similar reduction of this working time over the next few months.

Cash-flow and selling prices

In the third quarter 2014, the proportion of industrialists experiencing cash-flow problems was nearly stable compared to the previous quarter and the balance of opinion remained below its average level.

According to business managers, the selling prices in the manufacturing industry slightly went down in the third quarter 2014. They forecast a decrease in selling prices for the next quarter.

Competitive position

Industrialists considered that in the third quarter 2014, their competitive position deteriorated on domestic and European market but improved on foreign markets outside the EU. Each of the corresponding balances stands below its average level.

The general exportation expectations have sharply gone up: the corresponding balance increased by 9 points and is closer to its long-term average.

Graphang4 – Competitive position

tableau2 – Industrialists'opinion: employment, competitive position, cash-flow, wags and selling prices

Balance of opinion, in %
Industrialists'opinion: employment, competitive position, cash-flow, wags and selling prices
Manufacturing industry Aver.* Jan. 14 Avril 14 Juil. 14 Oct. 14
Workforce size
Past change –11 –9 –8 –6 –8
Expected change –13 –10 –8 –8 –9
Difficulties hiring 28 26 27 27 26
Working time
Past change –3 1 –1 –1 –2
Expected change –5 –2 –1 –3 –2
Cash-flow and wages
Cash-flow problems 15 13 13 14 13
Past wages 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3
Selling prices
Past change 0.1 –0.5 0.0 –0.2 –0.7
Expected change 0.2 0.2 –0.2 –0.1 –0.5
Competitive position
On domestic market 1 1 –1 –3 –7
On foreign markets inside EU –1 –2 –1 –1 –8
On foreign markets outside EU –1 –3 –9 –7 –4
General exportation expectations –11 –14 –10 –23 –14
  • * : Long-term average since 1976.
  • The results of the last survey are preliminary.
  • A quantitative question is asked about selling prices and past wage.
  • Source : Quaterly business survey - Insee