Informations rapides
22 March 2018
2018- n° 74
In March 2018, the business climate is stable in services Monthly survey of services - March 2018

According to business managers surveyed in March 2018, the business climate in services is stable at 107 after a decline of two points last month. The business climate composite indicator remains well above its long-term average (100).

Otherwise, the indicator in February 2018 has been revised upward by one point because of late businesses' answers that have been taken into account.

Informations rapides
No 74
Paru le :Paru le22/03/2018
Prochaine parution le : 21/06/2024 at 08:45 - June 2024

According to business managers surveyed in March 2018, the business climate in services is stable at 107 after a decline of two points last month. The business climate composite indicator remains well above its long-term average (100).

Otherwise, the indicator in February 2018 has been revised upward by one point because of late businesses' answers that have been taken into account.

Graph 1Business climate composite indicator

The turning point indicator stands into the area indicating an uncertain short-term economic situation.

Graph 2Turning point indicator

  • Note: close to 1 (respectively –1), this indicator indicates a favourable short-term economic situation (respectively unfavourable). The uncertainty area is between –0.3 and +0.3.

Slight rebound in the balances on expected activity and on expected demand

The balance of opinion on past activity has declined again in March whereas that on expected activity and on expected demand have bounced back slightly. The balance on general outlook has decreased slightly. All these balances remain above their long-term average.

The balance on past employment has fallen sharply while that on expected employment has grown markedly. Each of these balances is above its average.

The balances of opinion on investments have fallen back while remaining above their long-term average.

Table 1Economic outlook in the services sector

Balances of opinion, in %, seasonally adjusted
Economic outlook in the services sector (Balances of opinion, in %, seasonally adjusted) -
Average* Dec. 17 Jan. 18 Feb. 18 March 18
Composite indicator 100 110 109 107 107
General outlook –7 4 5 4 3
Past activity 2 15 14 9 6
Expected activity 2 10 4 3 4
Expected demand –1 8 8 6 7
Past selling prices –4 –1 0 –2 –2
Expected selling prices –3 –3 –2 –4 –3
Past employment 3 13 10 13 8
except temporary work agencies 1 4 4 5 3
Expected employment 2 12 9 10 15
except temporary work agencies 0 3 5 5 7
Investments
Past investments 2 3 4 7 4
Expected investments 1 1 1 6 5
  • * Average since 1989 for the composite indicator and since 1988 for the balances of opinion
  • Source: INSEE, monthly business survey in services.

The business climate composite indicator has weakened slightly in information-communication and more markedly in accommodation and food service activities. It has improved again in professional, scientific and technical activities, in administrative and support service activities and has recovered a little in real estate activities. It is above its long-term average in all sub-sectors except in real estate activities where it remains below its average.

In road transport, the business climate is stable

In road transport, the climate indicator is stable. At 115, it is markedly above its average level. The decrease in the balances on expected demand and on general outlook has been offset by the buoyant increase in that on employment and past activity. All balances are sharply above their average.

In accommodation and food services, the business climate has slipped back markedly but remains high

The climate in accommodation and food services has lost six points. Nevertheless, at 110, it remains clearly above its long-term average. This decline is due to the marked decline in the balances on general outlook, on past activity and on past employement.

The business climate has weakened again in information and communication

In information and communication, the business climate has faltered slightly for the third month in a row. It has lost one point in March 2018 (102). The balances on past activity and on employement have decreased whereas the balances on expected activity and on expected demand are on the rise again.

The business climate has recovered a little in real estate activities

In real estate activities, the climate has picked up (89) while remaining well below its long-term average, for the sixth month in a row. The balances on past activity and on past employment have gone down sharply. In contrast, the business leaders are more optimistic for the future: the balances on expected demand, expected employment and expected activity have grown. The balance on general outlook stands nevertheless clearly below its average.

In professional activities, the business climate has improved slightly

The business climate in professional, scientific and technical activities has gained one point (109). The balances of opinion on past activity and general outlook have climbed and have offset the decrease in those on expected activity and on expected demand.

The business climate remains high in administrative and support service activities

The climate has gained one point, at 112, markedly above its long-term average. The balance on expected employment has increased strongly whereas that on past employment has dipped significantly. All balances are well above their average.

Table 2Business climate composite indicator and balances of opinion by sub-sector in services

Balances of opinion, in %, seasonally adjusted
Business climate composite indicator and balances of opinion by sub-sector in services (Balances of opinion, in %, seasonally adjusted) -
Aggregated classification (NA 2008) at level A21 Mean* Dec. 17 Jan. 18 Feb. 18 March 18
Road transport (8%)
Composite indicator 100 113 111 115 115
Past activity –7 13 13 15 17
Expected activity –8 11 3 12 12
Expected demand –10 12 11 23 16
Past employment –6 15 11 13 19
Expected employment –8 5 7 5 8
General outlook –21 8 11 13 11
Accommodation and food service activities (11%)
Composite indicator 100 112 113 116 110
Past activity –7 13 8 2 –11
Expected activity –7 0 –1 7 4
Expected demand –9 1 –1 3 3
Past employment –4 –4 0 5 –7
Expected employment –6 –2 –6 –2 –3
General outlook –14 –1 9 9 –2
Information and communication (24%)
Composite indicator 100 107 105 103 102
Past activity 8 21 22 11 4
Expected activity 9 21 9 –3 1
Expected demand 10 11 6 –1 7
Past employment 6 13 18 18 16
Expected employment 11 14 15 18 15
General outlook 0 8 3 5 4
Real estate activities (13%)
Composite indicator 100 92 85 86 89
Past activity 7 10 13 10 2
Expected activity 7 –8 –18 –8 –4
Expected demand 2 6 4 2 6
Past employment 3 6 5 1 –5
Expected employment 2 5 –2 –3 5
General outlook –2 –13 –13 –17 –15
Professional, scientific and technical activities (24%)
Composite indicator 100 111 111 108 109
Past activity –1 10 7 1 5
Expected activity –2 6 6 5 3
Expected demand –5 3 5 3 1
Past employment 1 10 12 9 8
Expected employment 0 12 11 11 11
General outlook –9 3 4 1 3
Administrative and support service activities (18%)
Composite indicator 100 112 113 111 112
Past activity 6 16 23 23 25
Expected activity 5 14 14 15 15
Expected demand 3 18 22 16 15
Past employment 10 26 17 23 13
Expected employment 8 23 14 17 31
General outlook –4 13 13 10 11
  • The figures in parentheses indicate the weights used to aggregate the sub-sector balances of opinion.
  • *Composite indicator: average since 1989 (2006 for road transport); balances of opinion: average since 1988 (2006 for road transport)
  • Source: INSEE, monthly business survey in services.

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