Insee conjoncture

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

According to the managers in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles, the business climate remains favourable in December 2017. The composite indicator that measures it has lost one point compared to November, at 115. Nevertheless, it remains significantly above its long-term average (100), that it has reached or exceeded since February 2015.

Informations rapides N° 339
No 339
Principaux indicateurs
Paru le : 21/12/2017
Prochaine parution le : 23/08/2018 at 08:45 - August 2018

According to the managers in retail trade and in trade and repair of motor vehicles, the business climate remains favourable in December 2017. The composite indicator that measures it has lost one point compared to November, at 115. Nevertheless, it remains significantly above its long-term average (100), that it has reached or exceeded since February 2015.

Chart_1 – Business climate synthetic indicator

Very favourable general business outlook

More managers than in November have declared a rise in their recent sales. About the next months, both balances concerning expected sales and ordering intentions have fallen back, while remaining substantially above their average. Nevertheless, the entrepreneurs are very confident about the general business outlook in their sector: the associated balance has kept on rising and has reached its highest level since the beginning of 2000.

Stocks have been considered slightly below their standard level.

Slightly fewer traders than in November have expected increases in prices on the next months. The corresponding balance remains above its mean level.

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) Sept. 17 Oct. 17 Nov. 17 Dec. 17
Business climate 100 112 113 116 115
General business outlook –29 –2 0 1 5
Recent sales –7 –5 –3 –7 0
Expected sales –2 8 12 15 11
Ordering intentions –8 6 8 11 6
Stocks 11 13 11 10 9
Past selling prices (2) –6 –4 –1
Expected selling prices –3 –4 3 2 0
Cash position (2) –15 –13 –11
Workforce size: recent trend 1 1 2 7 0
Workforce size: future trend –3 –2 –2 0 1
  • (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

Downturn in the balance on past employment

In retail trade as in motor trade, the balance on past employment has significantly declined after a high point in November. It has returned below its average again in retail trade, but it has remained above in motor trade. Concerning the balance on expected employment, it stays above its average. It is stable in retail trade and has slightly risen in motor trade.

In retail trade, the business climate slightly declines

In retail trade, the business climate has slightly declined: the composite indicator that measures it has lost one point, at 109. However, it remains substantially above its average (100).

In non-specialised trade as in specialised trade, the balance concerning recent sales has increased. Fewer non-specialised traders than in November have expected a rise in their sales and their orders, unlike specialised traders. All the balances on expected activity stay above their mean level.

In retail trade as a whole, the balance about expected prices has slightly decreased and has moved closer to its average.

In trade and repair of motor vehicles, the business climate falters but remains extremely favourable

In trade and repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles, the business climate has faltered: it has lost two points, at 117, but remains significantly above its average (100).

The balances about ordering intentions and general outlook have fallen back. Nevertheless, the balance on expected sales is stable, and the one concerning past sales has risen a little. These four balances remain above their mean level.

Fewer car traders than in November have expected increases in prices for the next months. The corresponding balance has exceeded its average.

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) Sept. 17 Oct. 17 Nov. 17 Dec. 17
Retail trade - Global data
Business climate 100 106 106 110 109
Gener. busin. outlook –29 –4 –3 –2 4
Recent sales –6 –8 –5 –15 –6
Expected sales 0 6 11 14 8
Ordering intentions –7 4 6 11 7
Stocks 10 11 7 7 7
Past selling prices (2) –8 –7 –3
Expected selling prices –5 –6 2 –1 –3
Cash position (2) –13 –12 –13
Workforce size: recent trend 2 2 1 6 –1
Workforce size: future trend –2 –2 –3 0 0
Non-specialised retail trade
Recent sales –2 –4 –4 –17 –4
Expected sales 6 16 25 32 12
Ordering intentions 2 13 18 27 15
Stocks 7 7 4 6 3
Past selling prices (2) –9 –3 4
Expected selling prices –5 –2 10 6 1
Cash position (2) –7 –7 –9
Specialised retail trade
Recent sales –12 –13 –7 –13 –9
Expected sales –8 –6 –5 –7 4
Ordering intentions –17 –6 –8 –8 –5
Stocks 13 13 12 7 12
Past selling prices (2) –8 –12 –11
Expected selling prices –5 –10 –8 –9 –9
Cash position (2) –22 –18 –18
Trade and repair of motor cars and motorcycles
Business climate 100 115 116 119 117
Gener. busin. outlook –27 7 11 14 10
Recent sales –7 2 2 13 15
Expected sales –6 18 15 20 20
Ordering intentions –10 10 12 13 10
Stocks 15 18 18 15 15
Past selling prices (2) 1 4 3
Expected selling prices 4 5 9 6 3
Cash position (2) –24 –13 –9
Workforce size: recent trend –8 3 4 7 –1
Workforce size: future trend –6 –1 –1 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