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Informations Rapides · 28 March 2023 · n° 80
Informations rapidesIn March 2023, the business climate has slightly rebounded in wholesale trade Bimonthly survey of wholesaling - March 2023

According to the business managers surveyed in March 2023, the bimonthly business climate in wholesale trade has slightly improved. The composite indicator has gained two points compared to January and stands at 98. It has thus moved closer to its long-term average (100). This improvement is mainly due to the sharp rise in the balance of opinion regarding the volume of merchandise received from abroad and, to a lesser extent, by the rebound of the one related to the volume of past sales abroad.

Informations rapides
No 80
Paru le :Paru le28/03/2023
Prochaine parution le : 24/05/2024 at 08:45 - May 2024

According to the business managers surveyed in March 2023, the bimonthly business climate in wholesale trade has slightly improved. The composite indicator has gained two points compared to January and stands at 98. It has thus moved closer to its long-term average (100). This improvement is mainly due to the sharp rise in the balance of opinion regarding the volume of merchandise received from abroad and, to a lesser extent, by the rebound of the one related to the volume of past sales abroad.

Composite indicator

Composite indicator
Composite indicator
2023-B2 98.2
2023-B1 96.1
2022-B6 101.7
2022-B5 96.6
2022-B4 101.6
2022-B3 100.6
2022-B2 104.7
2022-B1 114.9
2021-B6 114.2
2021-B5 109.3
2021-B4 112.8
2021-B3 109.4
2021-B2 98.6
2021-B1 95.3
2020-B6 87.3
2020-B5 90.8
2020-B4 78.6
2020-B3 65.9
2020-B2 96.6
2020-B1 103.8
2019-B6 106.0
2019-B5 105.9
2019-B4 105.8
2019-B3 106.8
2019-B2 105.2
2019-B1 99.7
2018-B6 103.3
2018-B5 103.3
2018-B4 102.1
2018-B3 103.8
2018-B2 109.1
2018-B1 107.1
2017-B6 110.5
2017-B5 108.3
2017-B4 109.5
2017-B3 104.1
2017-B2 102.7
2017-B1 103.9
2016-B6 97.7
2016-B5 97.3
2016-B4 102.9
2016-B3 101.6
2016-B2 99.3
2016-B1 102.1
2015-B6 101.3
2015-B5 99.2
2015-B4 101.8
2015-B3 100.7
2015-B2 96.1
2015-B1 95.6
2014-B6 95.3
2014-B5 90.9
2014-B4 96.1
2014-B3 97.7
2014-B2 97.8
2014-B1 96.9
2013-B6 97.5
2013-B5 96.7
2013-B4 87.3
2013-B3 87.7
2013-B2 88.1
2013-B1 88.8
2012-B6 89.0
2012-B5 90.8
2012-B4 94.7
2012-B3 92.8
2012-B2 99.2
2012-B1 95.3
2011-B6 95.9
2011-B5 100.0
2011-B4 105.6
2011-B3 107.1
2011-B2 108.1
2011-B1 105.8
2010-B6 104.4
2010-B5 104.9
2010-B4 100.4
2010-B3 94.4
2010-B2 84.9
2010-B1 84.9
2009-B6 77.6
2009-B5 76.3
2009-B4 70.6
2009-B3 68.5
2009-B2 67.2
2009-B1 79.3
2008-B6 84.0
2008-B5 94.4
2008-B4 96.8
2008-B3 101.5
2008-B2 106.6
2008-B1 107.3
2007-B6 108.5
2007-B5 111.4
2007-B4 107.2
2007-B3 110.2
2007-B2 111.6
2007-B1 107.9
2006-B6 110.2
2006-B5 106.7
2006-B4 107.4
2006-B3 101.9
2006-B2 98.9
2006-B1 103.6
2005-B6 99.5
2005-B5 94.8
2005-B4 96.0
2005-B3 92.3
2005-B2 97.3
2005-B1 100.6

Composite indicator

  • Source: INSEE - business tendency survey in wholesale trade.

The opinion of wholesalers on the volume of received merchandise from abroad has improved

In March 2023, the balance of opinion of wholesalers regarding the volume of merchandise received from abroad over the past two months has rebounded sharply and has moved closer to its average. It has increased sharply in the wholesale trade of raw agricultural products and live animals and in the one of food products and beverages. The balance of opinion related to received merchandise, whatever their origin, has slightly diminished for its part and has moved away from its average.

The balance of opinion of wholesalers on the volume of their past sales is stable and remains slightly below its average. The balance on the volume of past sales abroad has recovered and has moved closer to its own. It has mainly increased in the wholesale trade of food products and beverages, as well as in the one of “other industrial products”.

Past activity (sales) in capital goods

Past activity (sales) in capital goods
Capital goods in information and communication Other industrial capital goods
2023-B2 -26.4 -10.9
2023-B1 -35.6 -7.5
2022-B6 -25.6 -10.0
2022-B5 -23.3 -17.3
2022-B4 -6.1 -13.4
2022-B3 5.3 -11.3
2022-B2 -3.6 -11.5
2022-B1 6.6 11.5
2021-B6 10.6 2.9
2021-B5 14.2 -0.6
2021-B4 29.8 14.5
2021-B3 32.7 13.4
2021-B2 19.6 -3.0
2021-B1 0.3 -19.8
2020-B6 9.3 -31.2
2020-B5 10.3 -28.6
2020-B4 -54.4 -56.0
2020-B3 -54.9 -84.6
2020-B2 -6.6 -14.1
2020-B1 -18.1 -9.2
2019-B6 -6.7 -4.8
2019-B5 -1.4 0.5
2019-B4 -18.1 -4.1
2019-B3 11.6 -1.3
2019-B2 18.2 -3.4
2019-B1 -20.3 -15.2
2018-B6 4.4 -9.4
2018-B5 11.7 -7.2
2018-B4 10.1 -7.8
2018-B3 2.1 -5.2
2018-B2 -0.6 1.3
2018-B1 -12.0 8.9
2017-B6 -8.4 8.9
2017-B5 -2.9 -2.2
2017-B4 1.8 0.5
2017-B3 -6.2 -7.0
2017-B2 -7.5 -12.4
2017-B1 -7.3 -15.4
2016-B6 -12.9 -19.2
2016-B5 -5.1 -24.9
2016-B4 1.6 -16.9
2016-B3 -10.1 -17.6
2016-B2 -1.4 -21.6
2016-B1 1.4 -17.7
2015-B6 -9.1 -27.8
2015-B5 -4.8 -25.0
2015-B4 -1.6 -22.3
2015-B3 4.3 -28.8
2015-B2 -8.9 -33.1
2015-B1 -11.6 -35.2
2014-B6 -10.4 -38.5
2014-B5 -25.3 -41.2
2014-B4 -7.5 -38.8
2014-B3 -14.1 -27.4
2014-B2 -15.8 -20.1
2014-B1 -27.5 -27.4
2013-B6 -12.7 -25.7
2013-B5 -18.0 -30.9
2013-B4 -37.0 -38.3
2013-B3 -17.6 -38.0
2013-B2 -13.7 -33.8
2013-B1 -36.3 -41.1
2012-B6 -31.0 -36.8
2012-B5 -17.4 -28.3
2012-B4 -20.7 -30.0
2012-B3 -23.3 -28.9
2012-B2 -17.2 -15.6
2012-B1 -11.5 -11.7
2011-B6 -28.6 -12.8
2011-B5 -7.8 -0.1
2011-B4 0.3 -0.3
2011-B3 1.2 6.5
2011-B2 -12.4 1.7
2011-B1 15.3 -16.9
2010-B6 19.0 -18.1
2010-B5 18.6 -16.2
2010-B4 31.2 -32.9
2010-B3 0.3 -40.4
2010-B2 -37.2 -57.6
2010-B1 -12.8 -56.3
2009-B6 -21.4 -68.1
2009-B5 -57.6 -70.2
2009-B4 -61.3 -70.0
2009-B3 -63.2 -67.9
2009-B2 -61.5 -74.3
2009-B1 -32.1 -56.6
2008-B6 -16.2 -35.3
2008-B5 -11.9 -20.9
2008-B4 -5.4 -14.3
2008-B3 3.5 -3.6
2008-B2 -6.6 4.4
2008-B1 -23.1 5.5

Past activity (sales) in capital goods

  • Source: INSEE - business tendency survey in wholesale trade

The balance of opinion on ordering intentions is stable

In March 2023, the balance of opinion of wholesalers on their ordering intentions is stable, at its average level. The one related to ordering intentions from abroad has rebounded and has moved above its own.

The balance of opinion on the general business outlook has also rebounded, but remains far below its long-term average.

The balances of opinion on selling prices have retreated markedly again

The balances of opinion on the past and expected changes in selling prices of wholesalers have declined markedly again. However, both balances remain well above their respective averages.

Expected prices in wholesale trade

Expected prices in wholesale trade
Expected prices
2023-B2 29.4
2023-B1 32.3
2022-B6 41.4
2022-B5 40.2
2022-B4 44.4
2022-B3 55.0
2022-B2 50.4
2022-B1 34.1
2021-B6 38.3
2021-B5 30.6
2021-B4 32.1
2021-B3 29.2
2021-B2 20.3
2021-B1 7.5
2020-B6 -4.9
2020-B5 1.6
2020-B4 1.2
2020-B3 -1.2
2020-B2 0.3
2020-B1 6.9
2019-B6 7.1
2019-B5 1.2
2019-B4 2.2
2019-B3 4.2
2019-B2 4.9
2019-B1 6.6
2018-B6 9.6
2018-B5 11.3
2018-B4 8.3
2018-B3 7.5
2018-B2 13.5
2018-B1 8.6
2017-B6 11.8
2017-B5 2.0
2017-B4 3.9
2017-B3 4.0
2017-B2 5.8
2017-B1 10.7
2016-B6 2.4
2016-B5 -2.8
2016-B4 0.1
2016-B3 -0.9
2016-B2 -3.4
2016-B1 -5.7
2015-B6 -1.4
2015-B5 -8.2
2015-B4 2.9
2015-B3 5.1
2015-B2 -0.4
2015-B1 -6.7
2014-B6 -10.7
2014-B5 -8.7
2014-B4 -4.2
2014-B3 -0.8
2014-B2 2.1
2014-B1 6.0
2013-B6 0.5
2013-B5 0.3
2013-B4 -3.9
2013-B3 -3.2
2013-B2 -2.2
2013-B1 5.1
2012-B6 5.5
2012-B5 11.3
2012-B4 8.9
2012-B3 6.0
2012-B2 11.7
2012-B1 11.0
2011-B6 14.2
2011-B5 6.2
2011-B4 11.9
2011-B3 19.8
2011-B2 24.6
2011-B1 22.9
2010-B6 8.7
2010-B5 11.5
2010-B4 8.6
2010-B3 5.1
2010-B2 0.2
2010-B1 -3.9
2009-B6 -7.2
2009-B5 -6.7
2009-B4 -11.9
2009-B3 -7.5
2009-B2 -12.5
2009-B1 -5.5
2008-B6 0.4
2008-B5 10.3
2008-B4 18.8
2008-B3 15.3
2008-B2 18.6
2008-B1 26.9
2007-B6 23.9
2007-B5 20.9
2007-B4 16.2
2007-B3 14.1
2007-B2 10.1
2007-B1 10.2

Expected prices in wholesale trade

  • Source: INSEE - business tendency survey in wholesale trade.

Wholesalers have cast a more favourable judgement on the recent evolution of their workforce

The balance of opinion on the change in workforce size over the last two months has increased again and lies above its average level. The one on the expected change in workforce size is virtually stable and remains far higher than its average.

Wholesalers still consider their stock levels to be well above normal

The balance of opinion on the level of inventories has very slightly increased and has reached its highest level since 1989. It has increased in particular in the wholesale trade of food products and beverages as well as in the one of “other industrial products”. It remains very high in the one of information and communication equipment especially.

Finally, the balance related to the cash position has slightly diminished, and remains slightly below its average.

Updates

The business climate in wholesale trade in January 2023 has been revised upwards by one point (after rounding). This revision is mainly due to the inclusion of late responses from companies.

Economic outlook in the wholesale trade sector

Balances of opinion in %, S.A.
Economic outlook in the wholesale trade sector (Balances of opinion in %, S.A.)
Ave. (1) Sept. 22 Nov. 22 Jan. 23 Mar. 23
Business climate 100 97 102 96 98
General business outlook -23 -32 -31 -35 -30
Sales -14 -14 -7 -16 -16
export sales -15 -19 -15 -19 -16
Received merchandise -9 -13 -7 -13 -14
received from abroad -10 -20 -11 -18 -13
Ordering intentions -15 -12 -11 -15 -15
ordering from abroad -15 -14 -15 -18 -14
Shipments abroad -15 -15 -17 -20 -16
Stocks 8 15 13 16 17
Past workforce -1 1 4 1 4
Expected workforce -2 8 6 6 7
Cash position -9 -9 -9 -8 -7
Past selling prices 8 36 46 34 28
Expected selling prices 15 40 41 32 29
  • (1) Average since July 1979.
  • Source : INSEE - business tendency survey in wholesale trade

Balances of opinion by sub-sector in wholesale trade

Balances of opinion, in %, S.A.
Balances of opinion by sub-sector in wholesale trade (Balances of opinion, in %, S.A.)
Ave. (1) Sept. 22 Nov. 22 Jan. 23 Mar. 23
Raw agricultural products and live animals
Sales -13 -7 -1 -20 -21
Export sales -16 -24 -23 -16 -23
Merchandise received from abroad -10 -41 -25 -36 -28
Ordering intentions -13 -10 -14 -19 -24
Current stocks 5 2 4 10 2
Food products and beverages
Sales -15 -10 -16 -26 -14
Export sales -12 -28 -26 -39 -20
Merchandise received from abroad -13 -14 -21 -31 -4
Ordering intentions -11 -18 -15 -16 -15
Current stocks 4 4 -3 7 11
Household goods
Sales -10 -12 -3 -1 -9
Export sales -11 -9 -3 -8 -14
Merchandise received from abroad -6 -9 -6 -15 -22
Ordering intentions -13 -8 -3 -8 -11
Current stocks 12 16 11 22 21
Information and communication equipment
Sales -8 -23 -26 -36 -26
Export sales -12 -48 -49 -24 -27
Merchandise received from abroad -7 -46 -45 -30 -33
Ordering intentions -10 -21 -20 -22 -23
Current stocks 8 42 43 35 24
Other industrial capital goods
Sales -16 -17 -10 -7 -11
Export sales -21 -17 -14 -19 -6
Merchandise received from abroad -11 -22 -10 -9 -6
Ordering intentions -21 -10 -16 -24 -15
Current stocks 11 22 27 20 22
Other specialised wholesale trade
Sales -17 -23 -1 -14 -22
Export sales -18 -24 -14 -12 -14
Merchandise received from abroad -12 -33 -7 -6 -7
Ordering intentions -18 -13 -9 -12 -15
Current stocks 6 14 14 15 17
  • (1) Average since July 1979.
  • Source : INSEE – business tendency survey in wholesale trade

Further information

A balance of opinion is the difference between the weighted percentage of “above normal” or “increase” answers and the weighted percentage of “below normal” or “decrease” answers.

Since the May 2020 survey, the way of correcting missing answers has been modified. The usual method was to fill them in by carrying on past answers from non-responding companies. Results are now computed on the sole basis of responding companies.

Answers to this survey have been gathered between 24 February and 22 March 2023.

Additional information (methodology, links, etc.) is available on the “Documentation” tab.

Next issue: 25 May 2023 at 8:45 am.

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