In the second quarter 2015, pressure on production capacity is virtually stableQuarterly business survey (goods-producing industries) - July 2015

In July 2015, the industrialists consider that the pressure on production capacity is almost unchanged. The production capacity utilisation rate is virtually stable compared to the previous quarter (82.2%). Since the third quarter of 2008, production capacity has been less used in the manufacturing industry than there was on average between 1994 and 2007.

Informations rapides
No 175
Paru le : 22/07/2015
Prochaine parution le : 24/10/2017 at 08:45 - October 2017

Pressure on production capacity virtually stable

In July 2015, the industrialists consider that the pressure on production capacity is almost unchanged. The production capacity utilisation rate is virtually stable compared to the previous quarter (82.2%). Since the third quarter of 2008, production capacity has been less used in the manufacturing industry than there was on average between 1994 and 2007.

The balance on production bottlenecks is virtually stable, at a level slightly above its long-term average. The proportion of industrialists considering that their production capacity is “more than sufficient” is higher than that considering their capacity as insufficient. This gap has increased in July and the balance stands above its long-term average.

Graphang2 – Change in the productive capacity utilisation rate

Better global expectations

In July 2015, a few more industrialists judge that global demand in the past months has fall, however the corresponding balance remains slightly above its mean level. Conversely, the balance of opinion on foreign demand has slightly risen above its long-term average. Over the next three months, more industrialists anticipate an improvement of global and foreign demand; the corresponding balances of opinion remain

above the normal. In July, more industrialists have indicated difficulties of supply only (21% against 14% in April), the proportion reaching its highest level since the end of 2011.

Graphang1 – Balance of opinion of past change in demand

tableau1 – Industrialists' opinion : demand and production factors

Balance of opinion, in %
Industrialists' opinion : demand and production factors
Manufacturing industry Mean Oct. 14 Jan. 15 April 15 July 15
Global demand
Past change 0 –4 –3 5 1
Future change 1 4 2 4 9
Foreign demand
Past change 3 –2 12 6 8
Future change 5 2 5 12 13
Production factors
Production bottlenecks (in %) 22 22 24 24 25
Assessment of productive capacity 14 18 14 14 20
Productive capacity utilisation rate (in %) 84,6 80,7 80,7 82,3 82,2
Difficulties of supply and demand
Difficulties of supply and demand 8 11 9 12 11
Difficulties of supply 20 16 14 12 21
Difficulties of demand 44 49 44 39 37
  • * : Long-term average since 1976.
  • The results of the last survey are preliminary.
  • Source : Quaterly business survey - INSEE

More industrialists have announced a decrease of their workforce on the past

In July, more industrialist judge that workforce has diminished during the last months. However, the corresponding balance of opinion stays slightly above its long-term average. Over the next few months, industrialists are not more optimistic: the corresponding balance of opinion is stable and also remains above its historical level.

Less than a third of the industrialists have hiring difficulties, a part which has risen a little and is slightly above its long-term average.

Graphang3 – Workforce size in the manufacturing industry

Slight increase in wages

According to the business managers in the manufacturing industry, wages have increased by 0.3% in the second quarter of 2015.

The balance of opinion on weekly working time is virtually stable. A few more industrialists anticipate a decrease of this working time over the next few months.

Near stagnation of selling prices

According to industrialists, selling prices in the manufacturing industry are virtually stable in the second quarter of 2015 (+0.1% after +1.0%); they forecast a virtual near stability for the next quarter (-0.1%).

Almost as many industrialists of the manufacturing industry have experienced cash-flow problems as in the previous quarter (13%). This proportion stands below its mean level.

Deterioration of the opinion on exportation prospects

In July 2015, general exportation prospects have deteriorated. After an increase by 36 points since July 2014, the corresponding balance has lost 13 points but remains clearly above it long-term average.

A few more business managers judge that in the second quarter of 2015, their competitive position on domestic market and on European market has improved. Conversely, the balance of opinion on their competitive position outside EU has deteriorated, but stays above its long-term average.

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 Mean Oct. 14 Jan. 15 April 15 July 15
Workforce size
Past change –11 –9 –10 –7 –9
Expected change –13 –10 –11 –8 –8
Difficulties hiring 28 26 27 27 29
Working time
Past change –3 –2 0 2 1
Expected change –5 –2 0 1 –1
Cash-flow and wages
Cash-flow problems 15 13 12 12 13
Past wages 0,5 0,3 0,3 0,1 0,3
Selling prices
Past change 0,1 –0,6 –1,2 1,0 0,1
Expected change 0,2 –0,5 –1,1 –0,2 –0,1
Competitive position
On domestic market 1 –7 0 –2 –1
On foreign markets inside EU –1 –8 –3 –1 0
On foreign markets outside EU –1 –3 0 9 3
General exportation expectations –10 –15 –2 13 0
  • * : 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