November 29, 2021

despite the fifth wave, the morale of business leaders is resisting

The breaking wave once again plunges the French economy into troubled waters. Most health indicators show a deterioration in a large number of European countries. Faced with this new outbreak, the government put pressure on the unvaccinated and strengthened the conditions of the health pass to encourage all 18 years and over to recall by January 15.

In this degraded health context, business leaders maintain morale. According to the last major consultation of entrepreneurs carried out by OpinionWay for CCI France, La Tribune and LCI, the indicator which measures the confidence of business leaders remained stable between October and November, going from 102 to 103 points. After reaching an all-time low (73 points) in the spring during the April containment, the index recovered during the summer to settle since the re-entry above its long-term average (100 ). However, this result masks glaring disparities between small businesses with fewer than 9 employees (101) and larger businesses (110). The confidence level of the largest companies has even reached a record since the spring of 2019 after two years of violent tremors.

Recall of the vaccine for all, return of the mask: the government announces its measures in the face of the 5th wave of Covid-19

Bosses less confident about the prospects for their business

Regarding the future, the optimism of business leaders is waning. Indeed, only 20% of respondents say it will be better tomorrow against 24% in October. Regarding the outlook for the next twelve months, the proportion of managers confident in the future of their company is decreasing from 79% to 76% between October and November. This confidence ratio is however stable for the French economy (43%) and the world economy (39%).

It must be said that paradoxically, most economic institutes have revised upwards their growth figures for 2021. Recently, the OECD indicated that it was counting on GDP growth of 6.8% for the French economy. This year. This is 0.5 point higher than in previous estimates.

Unemployment rate at the lowest for 13 years: 7.6% by the end of the year, says INSEE

The inflation premium is fairly well accepted

Faced with the rise in energy prices, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a few weeks ago the implementation of an inflation compensation of 100 euros paid by companies to all employees earning less than 2,000 euros. It should concern around 38 million French people according to figures put forward by the government. This measure should be offset by a reduction in social contributions for companies from January 2022.

When asked about this measure, business leaders do not seem to express any major obstacles. While nearly a third expects additional costs, only 9% fear cash flow problems and the same proportion fear implementation difficulties. This means that a large majority should not encounter significant problems paying this bonus still debated in Parliament in the context of discussions on the 2022 budget.

Castex draws an “inflation allowance” of 100 euros for 38 million French people

Presidential election: employment and purchasing power at the top of the priorities

On the other hand, five months before the presidential election, the debates between the candidates will accelerate. Asked about the priority themes during the campaign, the leaders consider that employment (75%) and purchasing power (69%) should be among the subjects to be highlighted. It must be said that the surge in prices in recent months, the shortage of workers and the lack of attractiveness of certain sectors have put the question of wages and the cost of living back at the center of the political game. Among the other topics to be favored then come taxation (65%), safety (65%) and the environment (64%).

Conversely, globalization (27%), European integration (32%) and France’s role in the world (38%) appear at the bottom of the table. Which may seem paradoxical in view of the role of these themes in the functioning of the current economy. As for debt and deficits (47%) or immigration (44%), they are not among the major subjects to prioritize during the campaign according to business leaders.