Insee conjoncture

In October 2017, the business climate remains very favourable in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehiclesMonthly survey of retailing - October 2017

According to the managers in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles, the business climate remains very favourable in October. The composite indicator that measures it has gained one point compared to September to reach 113, its highest point since the beginning of 2008. So it remains significantly above its long-term average (100), that it has reached or exceeded since February 2015.

Informations rapides N° 278
No 278
Principaux indicateurs
Paru le : 24/10/2017
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 remains very favourable in October. The composite indicator that measures it has gained one point compared to September to reach 113, its highest point since the beginning of 2008. So it remains significantly above its long-term average (100), that it has reached or exceeded since February 2015.

Chart_1 – Business climate synthetic indicator

Auspicious prospects

Almost as many managers as in September have declared a rise in their recent sales. The corresponding balance of opinion stays slightly above its long-term average. They continue to expect a sustained activity on the next months: the balance about ordering intentions is practically stable, the one concerning expected sales has risen again, both standing at a highest level since 2007. The balance on general business outlook has increased a little again and has reached its highest point since 2001.

Stocks have been considered slightly lower, the balancemoving below its mean level.

Many more traders than in September have expected rises in prices on the next months. The corresponding balance is higher than it has been since 2012.

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) July 17 Aug. 17 Sept. 17 Oct. 17
Business climate 100 111 108 112 113
General business outlook –29 –3 –7 –2 0
Recent sales –7 8 0 –5 –4
Expected sales –2 7 2 8 11
Ordering intentions –8 4 –6 6 7
Stocks 11 10 12 13 10
Past selling prices (2) –6 –5 –4
Expected selling prices –3 –4 –1 –4 3
Cash position (2) –15 –13 –13
Workforce size: recent trend 1 1 2 1 1
Workforce size: future trend –3 –4 –3 –2 –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

The balances concerning employment stand at their average

The balances of opinion concerning past and expected employment are at their average on the whole survey scope. They stand just below their mean level in the retail trade alone. In motor car trade and repair, the balances on employment are stable or practically, above their average for both past and future workforce size.

In retail trade, the business climate is stable

In retail trade, the business climate is stable: the composite indicator that measures it remains at 106, above its average (100).

In non-specialised trade, the balance concerning recent sales is practically stable below its mean level. In specialised trade, this balance has recovered and has returned above its average.

Overall, more retailers than in September have expected a rise in their sales and in their orders. Each of the two balances has increased for the second month in a row, standing significantly above its average from now on.

Stocks have been estimated lower, now below their standard level.

The balance about expected prices has picked up and is higher than it has been since 2008.

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 has gained one point to a 10-year peak of 116. So it remains significantly above its average (100).

The balance concerning recent sales is stable and the one about expected sales has edged down. However, the balances on ordering intentions and general outlook have moderately risen. Each of the four balances has remained above its average, the last one having reached a record level since the beginning of the survey in the motor car trade sector (2003).

The balance on expected prices has increased and has exceeded its average more than in September.

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) July 17 Aug. 17 Sept. 17 Oct. 17
Retail trade - Global data
Business climate 100 104 103 106 106
Gener. busin. outlook –29 –4 –9 –4 –3
Recent sales –6 6 –6 –8 –6
Expected sales 0 8 0 6 11
Ordering intentions –7 2 –8 4 6
Stocks 10 7 10 11 7
Past selling prices (2) –8 –6 –7
Expected selling prices –5 –5 –2 –6 2
Cash position (2) –13 –11 –12
Workforce size: recent trend 2 2 3 2 1
Workforce size: future trend –2 –6 –4 –2 –3
Non-specialised retail trade
Recent sales –1 25 –2 –4 –5
Expected sales 6 21 1 16 24
Ordering intentions 2 14 –9 13 17
Stocks 7 3 7 7 3
Past selling prices (2) –9 –3 –3
Expected selling prices –5 –1 –2 –2 11
Cash position (2) –7 –7 –8
Specialised retail trade
Recent sales –12 –17 –10 –13 –7
Expected sales –8 –8 0 –6 –5
Ordering intentions –17 –12 –5 –6 –7
Stocks 13 11 11 13 11
Past selling prices (2) –8 –10 –12
Expected selling prices –5 –10 –2 –10 –8
Cash position (2) –22 –17 –19
Trade and repair of motor cars and motorcycles
Business climate 100 115 114 115 116
Gener. busin. outlook –28 –1 0 7 10
Recent sales –8 13 15 2 2
Expected sales –6 7 9 18 15
Ordering intentions –11 4 0 10 12
Stocks 15 21 18 18 19
Past selling prices (2) 1 –3 4
Expected selling prices 4 2 4 5 9
Cash position (2) –24 –14 –14
Workforce size: recent trend –9 –1 3 3 3
Workforce size: future trend –7 6 0 –1 –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