HSBC Navigator provides comprehensive insight into the now, next and how for business, representing the views of over 9,100 business decision-makers across 35 markets. This report gives an understanding of how businesses like yours can continue to grow now and in the future.
Europe’s rising star?
French companies have had plenty to think about in the last year. Domestically, the so-called ‘gilet jaunes’ movement has threatened to scupper President Macron’s plans for business-friendly economic reforms, while Brexit has continued to cause uncertainty throughout the EU, France’s core export market. Despite this, French firms are feeling quite positive, with some reason. France is relatively sheltered from external and cyclical pressures, and HSBC Global Research forecasts growth of 1.43% in 2019.
New markets and new tech give grounds for optimism
French businesses are optimistic about growth, with levels of optimism above the global average. 84% of companies expect their sales to grow next year compared to 79% in Europe and globally.
From an internal perspective, investment in technology and the availability of a skilled and motivated workforce are cited by many businesses as fuelling optimism. Externally, access to new markets, transformative technologies, quality suppliers and raw materials are all seen as key factors. Businesses are also reducing their reliance on exporting to the EU by looking to new markets, with Asia Pacific (APAC) and particularly Australia seen as a key opportunity for expansion.
of companies expect their sales to grow next year compared to 79% in Europe and globally
|Next year||Next five years|
|Grow by 5% or less||38%||33%|
|Stay the same||6%||7%|
|Expect sales to shrink||8%||8%|
*This is the sum of grow by 5% or less, 6-14%, 15% or more.
Half of French businesses are more optimistic about growth than a year ago – well ahead of Europe as a whole (41%).
Firms expecting sales to shrink cite current distribution channels becoming obsolete as the most important factor.
Only 41% of French companies expect substantial change in their businesses in the next five years, compared to 50% globally.