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In September 2017, the business climate in manufacturing remains well above averageMonthly business survey (goods-producing industries) - September 2017

According to the business managers surveyed in September 2017, the business climate in industry is virtually stable after having reached in August its highest level since December 2007.

Informations rapides N° 250
No 250
Principaux indicateurs
Paru le : 26/09/2017
Prochaine parution le : 24/10/2018 at 08:45 - October 2018

According to the business managers surveyed in September 2017, the business climate in industry is virtually stable after having reached in August its highest level since December 2007.

Graph 1 – Business climate in industry - Composite indicator

The turning-point indicator remains in the zone indicating a further favourable economic outlook.

Graph 2 – Turning-point indicator

  • How to read it: close to 1 (respectively −1), the indicator points to a favourable short-term economic situation (respectively unfavourable). The uncertainty area is between −0.3 and +0.3.

Optimism on business prospects keeps growing among manufacturers

After a sharp rise in August (+12 points), the balance of opinion on past activity has fallen substantially in September (−10 points) but remains significantly above average. The one on their personal production expectations, already well above its mean in August, has increased again.

Manufacturers are also more optimistic about general production prospects for the sector. The corresponding balance is back on track and has reached its highest level since October 2000.

The balance on global order books has also picked up and has reached its highest point since March 2008. The one on export order books is stable, significantly above average.

Lastly, as many industrialists as in August consider that their finished-goods inventories are below normal : the corresponding balance remains below its long long-term average.

Table 1 – Industrialists' opinion on manufacturing activity

Balance of opinion, in %
Industrialists' opinion on manufacturing activity
Manufacturing industry Ave.* June 17 July 17 Aug. 17 Sept. 17
Composite indicator 100 109 108 111 110
Past activity 5 11 9 21 11
Finished-goods inventory 13 6 5 4 4
Global order books −18 −2 −3 −3 −1
Export order books −14 −1 −1 0 0
Personal production expectations 5 13 11 14 18
General production expectations −9 16 21 20 23
  • * Long-term average since 1976.
  • Source: INSEE - Monthly business tendency survey in industry

In the manufacture of food products and beverages, the business climate is less favourable

In the manufacture of food products and beverages, the business climate has dropped by three points in September. At 107 it remains well above its long-term average. This downturn mainly comes from a decrease in the balance of opinion on past activity, and to a lesser extent, in that on personal production expectations.

The business climate is virtually stable in the manufacture of machinery and equipment goods

In the manufacture of machinery and equipment goods, the business climate is virtually stable after having reached in July its highest level since March 2008. At 108, it stands significantly above normal. The sharp increase in personal production expectations is practically offset by a drop in the balances on past activity and export orders.

The business climate has improved in machinery and equipment, is stable in the computer, electronic and optical product industry and has deteriorated in electrical equipment.

The business climate remains stable in the transport equipment manufacture

In the transport equipment manufacture, the business climate has remained stable since July at 109, well above its long-term average. The decrease in the balances on past activity and personal productions expectations is offset by an increase in those on global and export order books.

The business climate is stable in the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers while it has increased in other transport equipment.

The business climate is stable in “other manufacturing industries”

In overall “other manufacturing”, the business climate is stable at 108, significantly above average. The decrease in the balance on export order books and on past activity is offset by an increase in that on personal production expectations.

The climate remains above its mean in all subsectors. In particular, the business climate indicator has brightened in rubber and plastic products and has bounced back in wood-paper and in clothing-textiles. It remains stable in basic metals and in chemicals. In contrast it has edged down in “other manufacturing industries”.

Graph 3 – Business climates in a sector-based approach

  • Legend: (C1): Manufacture of food products and beverages - (C3): Machinery and equipment goods - (C4): Manufacture of transport equipment - (C5): Other manufacturing

Table 2 – Business climates in a sector-based approach

Average = 100 and standard deviation = 10 since 1990
Business climates in a sector-based approach
NA* : (A17) et [A38 et A64] Weights** (%) July 17 Aug. 17 Sept. 17
(C1) Man. of food products and beverages 22 109 110 107
(C3) Machinery and equipment goods 11 110 107 108
[CI] Computer, electronic and optical products 3 114 112 112
[CJ] Electrical equipment 3 107 108 103
[CK] Machinery and equipment 5 107 103 105
(C4) Man. of transport equipment 15 109 109 109
[CL1] Motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers 7 110 111 111
[CL2] Other transport equipment 8 104 104 105
(C5) Other manufacturing 46 107 108 108
[CB] Textiles, clothing industries, leather and footwear industry 2 105 103 105
[CC] Wood, paper, printing 5 112 111 113
[CE] Chemicals and chemical products 9 108 109 109
[CG] Rubber and plastic products 7 112 112 114
[CH] Basic metals and fabricated metal products 11 103 105 105
[CM] Other manufacturing industries 9 97 104 102
  • * NA: aggregated classification, based on the French classification of activities NAF rév.2.
  • ** Weights used to aggregate sub-sector's balances of opinion.
  • Source: INSEE - Monthly business tendency survey in industry