Insee conjoncture

In May 2018, the French business climate and the employment climate continue to get less brightBusiness climate indicator and turning point indicator - May 2018

In May 2018, the business climate has faltered slightly for the fifth consecutive month, while remaining at a high level. The composite indicator, compiled from the answers of business managers in the main sectors, has lost two points from the previous month. At 106, it has returned to its level of June 2017, well above its long-term mean (100). The business climate has lost six points in wholesale trade, four points in services, one point in retail trade; it is stable in building construction and in manufacturing industry. It remains well above its long-term mean in all the sectors.

Informations rapides N° 134
No 134
Principaux indicateurs
Paru le : 24/05/2018
Prochaine parution le : 22/11/2018 at 08:45 - November 2018

The French business climate weakens in May

In May 2018, the business climate has faltered slightly for the fifth consecutive month, while remaining at a high level. The composite indicator, compiled from the answers of business managers in the main sectors, has lost two points from the previous month. At 106, it has returned to its level of June 2017, well above its long-term mean (100). The business climate has lost six points in wholesale trade, four points in services, one point in retail trade; it is stable in building construction and in manufacturing industry. It remains well above its long-term mean in all the sectors.

The employment climate is slightly less favourable

In May 2018, the employment climate has weakened slightly but remains at a high level. The associated composite indicator has lost one point compared to April. It stands at 107, well above its long-term average. This decrease mainly comes from a decline in the balances of opinion on past workforce size in service sector excluding temporary employment and on expected workforce size in retail trade.

Revisions

Compared to their first estimates in April 2018, the composite indicators for the building construction and for retail trade have been raised by one point, the employment climate has been lowered by one point. Compared to its first estimate in March 2018, the composite indicator for wholesale trade has been raised by one point. Those revisions result from the integration of late answers from businesses.

Graph 1 – French business climate composite indicator

Graph 2 – French employment climate composite indicator

Table 1 – Business and employment climates

Business and employment climates
Jan. 18 Feb. 18 March 18 April 18 May 18
Business climates
France 111 110 109 108 106
Manufacturing 114 112 110 109 109
Building 108 106 107 108 108
Services 109 107 107 107 103
Retail trade 114 115 113 111 110
Wholesale trade 107 - 110 - 104
Employment climate
Employment 109 110 111 108 107
  • Source: INSEE, Business tendency surveys

The turning point indicator stands in the uncertainty area

The turning point indicator for the French economy as a whole remains in the area indicating an uncertain short-term economic outlook.

Table 2 – Turning point indicators

Turning point indicators
Jan. 18 Feb. 18 March 18 April 18 May 18
France 0.8 –0.4 –0.2 –0.1 –0.1
Manufacturing 0.9 0.7 –0.6 –0.5 –0.2
Building 0.1 –0.8 –0.3 0.1 0.1
Services 0.7 0.2 0.4 0.3 –0.4
Wholesale trade 0.5 - 0.6 - –0.8
  • Source: INSEE. Business tendency surveys

Graph 3 – Turning point indicator

  • Close to +1 (resp. –1) the indicator shows a favourable business climate (resp. unfavourable). The uncertainty area is between –0.3 and +0.3.

Documentation

Abbreviated Methodology (pdf, 130 Ko)