Insee
Informations Rapides · 25 May 2023 · n° 130
Informations rapidesIn May 2023, the business climate has deteriorated sharply in wholesale trade Bimonthly survey of wholesaling - May 2023

According to the business managers surveyed in May 2023, the bimonthly business climate in wholesale trade has deteriorated sharply. The composite indicator has lost four points compared to March 2023 and stands at 94. It has thus moved away from its long-term average (100). Most of the balances of opinion of the sector have deteriorated, in particular those concerning past sales and the volume of merchandise received from abroad.

Informations rapides
No 130
Paru le :Paru le25/05/2023
Prochaine parution le : 24/05/2024 at 08:45 - May 2024

According to the business managers surveyed in May 2023, the bimonthly business climate in wholesale trade has deteriorated sharply. The composite indicator has lost four points compared to March 2023 and stands at 94. It has thus moved away from its long-term average (100). Most of the balances of opinion of the sector have deteriorated, in particular those concerning past sales and the volume of merchandise received from abroad.

Composite indicator

Composite indicator
Composite indicator
2023-B3 93.5
2023-B2 98.4
2023-B1 96.2
2022-B6 101.7
2022-B5 96.6
2022-B4 101.7
2022-B3 100.7
2022-B2 104.8
2022-B1 115.0
2021-B6 114.2
2021-B5 109.3
2021-B4 112.9
2021-B3 109.4
2021-B2 98.6
2021-B1 95.3
2020-B6 87.4
2020-B5 90.8
2020-B4 78.6
2020-B3 65.9
2020-B2 96.6
2020-B1 103.8
2019-B6 106.1
2019-B5 105.9
2019-B4 105.8
2019-B3 106.9
2019-B2 105.2
2019-B1 99.8
2018-B6 103.4
2018-B5 103.3
2018-B4 102.1
2018-B3 103.8
2018-B2 109.2
2018-B1 107.2
2017-B6 110.5
2017-B5 108.3
2017-B4 109.6
2017-B3 104.1
2017-B2 102.7
2017-B1 104.0
2016-B6 97.7
2016-B5 97.3
2016-B4 102.9
2016-B3 101.6
2016-B2 99.3
2016-B1 102.2
2015-B6 101.4
2015-B5 99.2
2015-B4 101.9
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 96.8
2013-B4 87.3
2013-B3 87.7
2013-B2 88.1
2013-B1 88.9
2012-B6 89.0
2012-B5 90.8
2012-B4 94.7
2012-B3 92.8
2012-B2 99.3
2012-B1 95.3
2011-B6 95.9
2011-B5 100.0
2011-B4 105.7
2011-B3 107.1
2011-B2 108.2
2011-B1 105.9
2010-B6 104.4
2010-B5 104.9
2010-B4 100.5
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 94.5
2008-B4 96.8
2008-B3 101.6
2008-B2 106.7
2008-B1 107.3
2007-B6 108.5
2007-B5 111.4
2007-B4 107.3
2007-B3 110.2
2007-B2 111.7
2007-B1 107.9
2006-B6 110.2
2006-B5 106.7
2006-B4 107.4
2006-B3 101.9
2006-B2 99.0
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 past sales has deteriorated sharply

In May 2023, the balance of opinion of wholesalers regarding the volume of merchandise received from abroad over the past two months has retreated and has moved away from its average. It has decreased strongly in the wholesale trade of raw agricultural products and live animals, in the wholesale trade of information and communication equipment as well as in “other specialised wholesale trade”. The balance of opinion related to the total received merchandise, from France as well as from abroad, has diminished again for its part and has moved away from its average.

The balance of opinion of wholesalers on the volume of their past sales has sharply retreated and has moved away from its average. This also applies to the balance on the volume of past sales abroad, which has mainly decreased in the wholesale trade of food products and beverages.

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) Nov. 22 Jan. 23 Mar. 23 May 23
Business climate 100 102 96 98 94
General business outlook -23 -31 -35 -29 -32
Sales -14 -7 -16 -15 -22
export sales -15 -15 -19 -16 -23
Received merchandise -9 -7 -13 -14 -16
received from abroad -10 -11 -18 -12 -18
Ordering intentions -15 -11 -15 -15 -18
ordering from abroad -15 -15 -18 -14 -23
Shipments abroad -15 -17 -20 -16 -22
Stocks 8 13 16 16 15
Past workforce -1 4 1 4 2
Expected workforce -2 6 6 7 5
Cash position -9 -9 -8 -7 -11
Past selling prices 8 46 34 29 16
Expected selling prices 15 41 32 31 13
  • (1) Average since July 1979.
  • Source : INSEE - business tendency survey in wholesale trade

The balance of opinion on ordering intentions has declined

In May 2023, the balance of opinion of wholesalers on their ordering intentions has declined and has moved below its average. The one related to ordering intentions from abroad has retreated markedly and has moved below its own.

The balance of opinion on the general business outlook has also retreated and has moved away from its long-term average.

The balances of opinion on selling prices have retreated strongly

The balances of opinion on the past and expected changes in selling prices of wholesalers have declined strongly. The first one has moved closer to its long-term average while the second one has moved below its own.

Expected prices in wholesale trade

Expected prices in wholesale trade
Expected prices
2023-B3 12.7
2023-B2 30.5
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 less favourable judgement on the recent evolution of their workforce

The balances of opinion on the past and expected changes in workforce size have retreated but remain above their respective average levels.

Wholesalers still consider their stock levels to be above normal

The balance of opinion on the level of inventories has slightly decreased after having reached in March its highest level since 1989. It has diminished in particular in the wholesale trade of information and communication equipment where it has moved below its long-term average.

Finally, the balance related to the cash position has sharply diminished and has moved below its average.

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) Nov. 22 Jan. 23 Mar. 23 May 23
Raw agricultural products and live animals
Sales -13 -1 -20 -21 -25
Export sales -16 -23 -16 -25 -41
Merchandise received from abroad -10 -25 -36 -25 -47
Ordering intentions -13 -14 -19 -23 -25
Current stocks 5 4 10 3 -4
Food products and beverages
Sales -15 -16 -26 -14 -24
Export sales -13 -26 -39 -22 -29
Merchandise received from abroad -13 -21 -31 -3 -11
Ordering intentions -11 -15 -16 -15 -16
Current stocks 4 -3 7 10 14
Household goods
Sales -10 -3 -1 -8 -8
Export sales -11 -3 -8 -14 -17
Merchandise received from abroad -6 -6 -15 -22 -12
Ordering intentions -13 -3 -8 -11 -12
Current stocks 12 11 22 21 15
Information and communication equipment
Sales -8 -26 -36 -26 -23
Export sales -12 -49 -24 -26 -42
Merchandise received from abroad -7 -45 -30 -32 -43
Ordering intentions -10 -20 -22 -22 -24
Current stocks 8 43 35 23 6
Other industrial capital goods
Sales -16 -10 -7 -12 -20
Export sales -21 -14 -19 -8 -24
Merchandise received from abroad -11 -10 -9 -6 -2
Ordering intentions -21 -16 -24 -15 -23
Current stocks 11 27 20 22 27
Other specialised wholesale trade
Sales -17 -1 -14 -21 -33
Export sales -18 -14 -12 -13 -14
Merchandise received from abroad -12 -7 -6 -7 -22
Ordering intentions -18 -9 -12 -14 -20
Current stocks 6 14 15 17 16
  • (1) Average since July 1979.
  • Source : INSEE – business tendency survey in wholesale trade

Updates

The business climate in wholesale trade in March 2023 has not been revised (after rounding).

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.

Answers to this survey have been gathered between 26 April and 22 May 2023.

Additional information (methodology, links, etc.) is available on the “Documentation” tab of the web page of this publication.

Next issue: 20 July 2023 at 8:45 am.

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