Insee conjoncture

In September 2017, the business climate improves in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehiclesMonthly survey of retailing - September 2017

According to the managers in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles, the business climate has improved in September. The composite indicator that measures it has gained four points compared to August to reach 112, its higher point since the beginning of 2008. So it stays significantly above its long-term average (100), that it has reached or exceeded since February 2015.

Informations rapides N° 253
No 253
Principaux indicateurs
Paru le : 26/09/2017
Prochaine parution le : 25/09/2018 at 08:45 - September 2018

According to the managers in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles, the business climate has improved in September. The composite indicator that measures it has gained four points compared to August to reach 112, its higher point since the beginning of 2008. So it stays significantly above its long-term average (100), that it has reached or exceeded since February 2015.

Chart_1 – Business climate synthetic indicator

Very favourable business outlook

Fewer managers than in August have declared a rise in their recent sales. The corresponding balance of opinion has gone on declining while remaining above its average. On the other hand, their anticipations have got better: the balances concerning expected sales, ordering intentions and general business outlook have recovered and have exceeded more their mean level. The last one has reached its highest point for ten years.

Stocks have been still considered slightly above their standard level.

Practically as many traders as on the last interrogation have indicated rises in past prices. Fewer than in August have planned to rise their prices on the next three months: the associated balance has come back to its average. The cash position has been estimated rather easy since March 2017.

Table_1 – Tendency in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles

Balances of opinion, in %, S.A.
Tendency in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles
Ave. (1) June 17 July 17 Aug. 17 Sept. 17
Business climate 100 111 111 108 112
General business outlook –29 –4 –3 –7 –1
Recent sales –7 –6 8 0 –4
Expected sales –2 8 7 2 8
Ordering intentions –8 0 4 –6 5
Stocks 11 11 10 12 13
Past selling prices (2) –6 –5 –4
Expected selling prices –3 –3 –4 –1 –3
Cash position (2) –15 –13 –13
Workforce size: recent trend 1 2 1 2 2
Workforce size: future trend –3 0 –4 –3 –3
  • (1) Average since 1991 (2004 for recent and expected sales and ordering intentions).
  • (2) Bi-monthly question (odd-numbered months).
  • Source: INSEE - monthly survey in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles

Chart_2 – Recent sales and ordering intentions

Balances concerning employment near average

The balances of opinion concerning past and expected employment are stable and virtually at their average, on the whole survey scope as especially in retail trade. In motor car trade and repair, the balance on past employment has increased slightly but the one about expected employment has declined a little; however both remain above their average.

In retail trade, the business climate improves again

In retail trade, the business climate has improved again: the composite indicator that measures it has gained three points, at 106, above its average (100).

The balance concerning recent sales is practically stable. In non-specialised trade, it remains just below its mean level; in specialised trade it is close to its average.

Overall, more retailers than in August have expected a rise in their sales and in their orders, each of the two corresponding balances standing above its average from now on.

Stocks have been estimated again at their standard level.

The balance about past prices is roughly stable and the one on expected prices has fallen. Both are close to stand near their mean level.

The cash situation has been estimated normal.

In trade and repair of motor vehicles, the business climate remains very favourable

In trade and repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles, the business climate remains very favourable: it is practically stable, at 115, staying significantly above its average (100).

The balance concerning recent sales has significantly fallen back . However, optimism has increased for the next months, and the balances on expected sales, ordering intentions and general outlook have risen. Each of the four has remained above its average, the last one standing at its highest level for ten years.

The balance on past prices has increased and has exceeded its average. The one concerning expected prices is virtually stable, at its average.

The cash position has been estimated very easy since the end of 2016.

Chart_3 – Recent sales and ordering intentions in trade and repair of motor vehicles

Chart_4 – Business climate synthetic indicator in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles

Table_2 – Detailed data

Balances of opinion, in %, S.A.
Detailed data
Ave. (1) June 17 July 17 Aug. 17 Sept. 17
Retail trade - Global data
Business climate 100 106 104 103 106
Gener. busin. outlook –29 –5 –4 –9 –3
Recent sales –6 –7 6 –6 –7
Expected sales 0 6 8 0 7
Ordering intentions –7 –2 2 –8 4
Stocks 10 7 7 10 11
Past selling prices (2) –8 –6 –7
Expected selling prices –5 –5 –5 –2 –5
Cash position (2) –13 –11 –12
Workforce size: recent trend 2 2 2 3 3
Workforce size: future trend –2 –1 –6 –4 –4
Non-specialised retail trade
Recent sales –1 5 25 –2 –3
Expected sales 6 12 21 1 17
Ordering intentions 1 7 14 –9 12
Stocks 7 7 3 7 8
Past selling prices (2) –9 –3 –3
Expected selling prices –5 –1 –1 –2 –2
Cash position (2) –7 –7 –8
Specialised retail trade
Recent sales –12 –21 –17 –10 –11
Expected sales –8 –2 –8 0 –5
Ordering intentions –17 –13 –12 –5 –5
Stocks 13 9 11 11 13
Past selling prices (2) –8 –10 –12
Expected selling prices –5 –10 –10 –2 –10
Cash position (2) –22 –17 –19
Trade and repair of motor cars and motorcycles
Business climate 100 113 115 114 115
Gener. busin. outlook –28 –3 –1 0 8
Recent sales –8 –3 13 15 3
Expected sales –7 7 7 9 15
Ordering intentions –11 3 4 0 8
Stocks 15 20 21 18 19
Past selling prices (2) 1 –3 4
Expected selling prices 4 2 2 4 5
Cash position (2) –24 –14 –14
Workforce size: recent trend –9 5 –1 3 1
Workforce size: future trend –7 6 6 0 –2
  • (1) Average since 1991 (2003 for trade and repair of motor vehicles and 2004 for recent and expected sales and ordering intentions).
  • (2) Bi-monthly question (odd-numbered months).
  • Source: INSEE - monthly survey in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles